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Linux Mint Developer Forks Gnome 3
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 03:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's new-road department:
An anonymous reader writes "Clement Lefebvre, the Linux Mint founder, has forked Gnome 3 and named it Cinnamon. Mint has experimented with extensions to gnome in the latest release of their operating system but in order to make the experience they are aiming for really work, they needed an actual fork. The goal of this fork is to use the improved Gnome 3 internals and put a more familiar Gnome 2 interface on it."

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Researcher Claims Siemens Lied About Security Bugs
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pants-on-fire department:
chicksdaddy writes "A month after an unknown gray hat hacker calling himself 'pr0f' used a three character password to hack his way onto Siemens software used to manage water treatment equipment in South Houston, Texas, a security researcher working for Google is accusing the company of trying to cover up the existence of other, more serious vulnerabilities in its products. Billy Rios has disclosed a range of vulnerabilities in Siemens SIMATIC software on his blog. The holes could allow a remote attacker to gain access to the Simatic user interface without a user name and password. Rios claims that he has disclosed the hole to Siemens and that the company has acknowledged the problem, only to deny its existence when a reporter asked for more information about the vulnerability."

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Inductive Charging For EVs To Be Tested In Berlin
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's da-da-da-da-da-da department:
cylonlover writes "The increasing availability of more practical electric vehicles has seen inductive charging technology attract the attention of those looking for for a cable-free way to charge EV batteries. German automakers are taking the opportunity to put inductive charging of EVs to a real-world test as part of the 'Effizienzhaus-Plus mit Elektromobilität' project. The project is a German government-backed initiative to build an energy-efficient house that generates more electricity than it consumes, with the surplus being fed back into the grid or used to charge the occupants' electric vehicles."

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Book Review: Defense Against the Black Arts
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
brothke writes "If there ever was a book that should not be judged by its title, Defense against the Black Arts: How Hackers Do What They Do and How to Protect against It, is that book. Even if one uses the definition in The New Hackers Dictionary of 'a collection of arcane, unpublished, and (by implication) mostly ad-hoc techniques developed for a particular application or systems area', that really does not describe this book. The truth is that hacking is none of the above. If anything, it is a process that is far from mysterious, but rather aether to describe. With that, the book does a good job of providing the reader with the information needed to run a large set of hacking tools." Read below for the rest of Ben's review. Defense against the Black Arts: How Hackers Do What They Do and How to Protect against It
author Jesse Varsalone, Matthew Mcfadden, Michael Schearer, Sean Morrissey
pages 412
publisher CRC Press
rating 7/10
reviewer Ben Rothke
ISBN 1439821194
summary Good reference for someone experienced in the topic who wants to improve their skills

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Exoplanets Spotted Orbiting Dead Star
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's zombie-planet department:
astroengine writes "Scientists have found a system of planets that appears to have survived being engulfed by their dying parent star. The discovery raises questions about the ultimate fate of our solar system when the sun runs out of hydrogen gas in about 5 billion years and violently transform into an expanding red giant star. Scientists believe all the planets from Earth inward will be destroyed when the sun expands, but new research suggests that if planets are large enough, they may outlast their parent star's death, even if they are engulfed."

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Troops In Afghanistan Supplied By Robot Helicopter
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 01:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's johnny-copter department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Pakistan is still blockading NATO war supplies passing through the port of Karachi in response to last month's killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by an alliance air strike. But inside Afghanistan, supply lines are about to get a lot safer for NATO's logisticians as an unmanned helicopter just delivered a sling-load of beans, bullets, and band-aids to Marines at an undisclosed base in Afghanistan marking the first time a drone has been used to resupply a unit at war. The 2.5-ton, GPS-guided K-MAX can heft 3.5 tons of cargo about 250 miles up and over the rugged and mountainous terrain of Afghanistan across which NATO troops are scattered and can fly around the clock. 'Most of the [K-MAX] missions will be conducted at night and at higher altitudes,' says Marine Capt. Caleb Joiner, a K-MAX operator. 'This will allow us to keep out of small-arms range.' K-MAX will soon be joined in Afghanistan by Lockheed's robo jeep that can carry a half a ton of supplies for up to 125 miles after being delivered to the field in a CH-47 or CH-53 helo."

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Domestic Surveillance Drones On the Rise
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's eye-in-the-sky department:
Toe, The writes "Predator drones have now racked up over 10,000 hours of airtime in the U.S., largely for immigration enforcement. Homeland Security reports that drone operations lead to the apprehension of 4,865 undocumented immigrants and 238 drug smugglers in the past six years. Compare that to 327,577 illegal migrants caught at the southwest border in fiscal 2011. The only limits on their surveillance are FAA regulations keeping them away from crowded urban areas, and this is for safety reasons, not privacy. While the drones cannot see through windows, they certainly see a lot of what goes on in the (former) privacy of peoples' yards. The article cites Michael Kostelnik from the Office of Air and Marine for the Border Protection service saying he's never been challenged in Congress about the appropriate use of domestic drones. 'Instead the question is: Why can't we have more of them in my district?'"

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Ask Slashdot: Best Open Source License For Guitar?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's modular-guitar department:
First time accepted submitter PraxisGuitars writes "I am working on developing an open source electric guitar. I wish to make the basic structural system completely open and free, with a standardized interface allowing different body shapes and modules to be bolted on. I am having trouble figuring out the best way to release the files. There seem to be at least half a dozen open source licenses out there; The Thingiverse has some precedent for open source 3d data, but version control seems like it might be difficult. I have looked into sourceforge and github, but don't know enough to know if that would be the best choice. Are there other precedents out there? Is there a better way?"

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New Remote Flaw In 64-Bit Windows 7
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hole-in-the-wall department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Researchers are warning about a new remotely exploitable vulnerability in 64-bit Windows 7 that can be used by an attacker to run arbitrary code on a vulnerable machine. The bug was first reported a couple of days ago by an independent researcher and confirmed by Secunia. In a message on Twitter, a researcher named w3bd3vil said that he had found a method for exploiting the vulnerability by simply feeding an iframe with an overly large height to Safari. The exploit gives the attacker the ability to run arbitrary code on the victim's machine."

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Microsoft Says Goodbye To CES
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-outta-here department:
theodp writes "Microsoft has traditionally delivered the pre-show keynote and put up a mammoth booth at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas each January. No more. GeekWire reports that Microsoft will bow out of CES after this year's show (Steve Ballmer says buh-bye on Jan. 9). 'As we look at all of the new ways we tell our consumer stories,' explained Microsoft's Frank Shaw, 'it feels like the right time to make this transition.'"

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Hobbit Film Trailer Posted Online
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's chip-the-glasses-crack-the-plates department:
bonch writes "The trailer for the film adaptation of The Hobbit by Peter Jackson has been posted online by ComingSoon. The film, due December 14, 2012, is subtitled "An Unexpected Journey" and will be followed by a second film in 2013 that will tie the story with the Lord of the Rings trilogy." I'm glad to hear that they've kept the Misty Mountains song and I'll be greatly disappointed if an updated version of "Funny Little Things" or "Down, Down to Goblin Town" doesn't make the cut also.

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Liquid Metal Capsules Used To Make Self-Healing Electronics
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's terminator-edition department:
MrSeb writes "A crack team of engineers at the University of Illinois has developed an electronic circuit that autonomously self-heals when its metal wires are broken. This self-healing system restores conductivity within 'mere microseconds,' which is apparently fast enough that operation can continue without interruption. The self-healing mechanism is delightfully simple: The engineers place a bunch of 10-micron (0.01mm) microcapsules along the length of a circuit. The microcapsules are full of liquid metal, a gallium-indium alloy, and if the circuit underneath cracks, so do the microcapsules (90% of the time, anyway — the tech isn't perfect yet!). The liquid metal oozes into the circuit board, restoring up to 99% conductivity, and everything continues as normal. This even works with multi-layer printed circuit boards (PCBs), such the motherboard in your computer, too. There's no word on whether this same technology could one day be used by Terminators to self-heal shotgun blasts to the face, but it certainly sounds quite similar. The immediate use-cases are in extreme environments (aerospace), and batteries (which can't be taken apart to fix), but long term we might one day buy motherboards with these self-healing microcapsules built in."

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Ask Gaming [Designer, Professor, Gadfly] Ian Bogost
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-about-a-nice-tax-system-game department:
Ian Bogost is a professor of game theory at Georgia Tech, a game designer, a prolific writer, an entrepreneur, and a bit of a prankster. These roles which sometimes overlap, notably in his surprise success satirical Facebook game Cow Clicker, which you can think of as the Anti-Zynga. Wired has a fresh article up about Bogost (which cleverly embeds a sort of micro version of Cow Clicker). It also mentions another game — my favorite of his projects — that should be on the mind of every TSA employee, the 2009 release Jetset. Ask Ian about clicking cows, being an academic provocateur as well as a participant in the world of gaming, and breaking into the world of social gaming. (Please break unrelated questions into multiple comments.)

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Intel Demos Phone and Tablet In New Mobile Chip Push
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 10:17 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's we-can-make-it-smaller department:
holy_calamity writes "Intel is making another assault on the mobile processor market, showing off a prototype phone and a tablet using its newest mobile processor Medfield. The company claims that products based on the chips will appear in the first half of next year. There's reason to believe that Intel might get somewhere this time. Its chipsets traditionally comprise three separate chips, a design that guzzles power. Medfield introduces an all-in-one chip, mirroring the power efficient design of the ARM-based chips that run smart phones and tablets in the market today."

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Project To Mainline Android Kernel Changes Formed
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 09:47 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's keep-on-merging department:
ghostoftiber writes "From the article: 'Tim Bird, a Sony engineering veteran and the chair of the Architecture Group of the Linux Foundation's CE Workgroup, has announced a new concerted effort to get Android's changes to the Linux kernel back into the mainline Linux kernel tree.' Android has been using Linux 2.6.x for it's devices since it's release, with patches from Google. To date they haven't been merged back into the kernel mainline but existed on kernel.org. Some of the features such as wakelocks would help with Linux tablet projects, but other features aren't fully realized and support remains spotty. The radio interface layer ... still exists as an ATI/Nvidia-esque shim loader scheme with modem 'drivers' being nothing more than ihex files loaded by open code."

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Microsoft, Nokia, and Amazon Contemplated RIM Takeover
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's carrion-eaters-are-people-too department:
CSHARP123 writes "WSJ's anonymous sources indicates that MS and Nokia casually considered bidding on Research in Motion Ltd. The outcome of the talks are not clear. The Journal suggests that this wasn't anything more than a simple idea that came up at one of the regular meetings between senior executives from all three companies — perhaps it could have even been just a casual talk — but one wonders how Microsoft and Nokia executives think there is profit to be made by this take over. Maybe RIM provides a good backdoor entry for MS into the enterprise space for its Windows Phone 7? Recently, Amazon was also considering bidding on RIM. It is interesting to see who will gobble up RIM."

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ASF Lays Out Its Plan For OpenOffice.org
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's not-quite-dead-yet department:
Thinkcloud writes "In an open letter, the Apache Software Foundation has made its plans for OpenOffice clear, including an Apache-branded OpenOffice suite targeted at developers coming next year."

From The H: "The ASF says it does not want to force any vision on the ODF community noting that 'it is impossible to agree upon a single vision for all participants, Apache OpenOffice does not seek to define a single vision, nor does it seek to be the only player' in the large ODF ecosystem. Instead, it wishes to offer a neutral 'collaboration opportunity' and notes that its permissive licensing and development model are 'widely recognised as one of the best ways to ensure open standards, such as ODF, gain traction and adoption.'"

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Apple Buys Israeli Flash Manufacturer
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's gotta-buy-em-all department:
Lucas123 writes "According to published reports Apple is plunking down up to $500 million to purchase solid-state drive start-up Anobit Technologies. Even Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted about the deal congratulating Apple on its first acquisition in his country. Apple is planning to use the acquisition to set up to set up a semiconductor development center in Israel. Apple already uses NAND flash from Anobit in its iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air products, according to the reports."

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Kindle Fire and Nook Upgrades Kill Root Access
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's bug-fixes-are-nice department:
jfruhlinger writes "The Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble Nook tablets are similar enough and close enough together in price that they ought to be fighting market share and one-upping each other in terms of features they offer users. But the latest OS upgrades to both gadgets claims to be an 'upgrade' while actually taking functionality away: both remove the ability to root the device."

A more balanced way of looking at it is that the updates fix known local privilege escalation vulnerabilities. This might be more of an issue for people wanting to hack on the Nook Tablet: its bootloader is confirmed locked, but reports lean toward the Kindle Fire having an unlocked bootloader letting anyone flash their own software without needing to gain root first.

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QuakeForge 0.6.0 Released In Time For Christmas
Posted by News Fetcher on December 21 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's winter-solstice-lan-party department:
Bill Currie writes "After many years, QuakeForge 0.6.0 has finally been released, just in time for the 12th anniversary of the release of the Quake source code. Happy birthday, GPL Quake. Merry Christmas, Quake fans."

The release page shows a few 0.5.99 beta releases made starting earlier this month, the first since 2004. Sometime in that void of time development moved to git, and there has quite a bit of work going on in the main tree.

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