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Ask Slashdot: Radiation Detection For Tokyo Resident?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-you're-warm-you're-too-close department:
An anonymous reader writes "I'm an American who is living in Tokyo. Stories have started popping up about 'radiation hot spots' in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures so I have begun to worry. I live on the first floor of my apartment building and right by our washing machine there is a gutter out there that is clogged with rain water and mud, which has me especially worried because my wife and I are planning to have kids soon. Obviously no one from the government is going to come by to check our gutter so I feel the need to take matters into my own hands. I have absolutely no idea so I'm asking you guys. What kind of radiation detector should I get? A Geiger Counter? If it measures Gamma rays is that enough? Are alpha and beta dangerous too? I know no one has all the answers regarding radiation but any advice you guys could give me would be great."

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Retailers Respond To HDD Squeeze By Limiting Purchases, Raising Prices
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-you're-ready-for-econ-102 department:
SKYMTL writes "With Thailand experiencing its worst flooding in generations, component manufacturers have been especially hard hit. The trickle down effect is having a huge impact upon hard drive manufacturers in particular. Retailers have responded by drastic price increases and even limiting hard drive purchases to 1-2 drives per person."

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Portal 2 Getting Map Editor
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's roll-your-own department:
Valve Software is working on a second helping of downloadable content for Portal 2, and they've revealed that it will include an in-game map editor. It's planned for early next year, and it will allow players to create both single-player and co-op maps. The maps can be shared with others, and there will be a system to view and vote on other people's maps. In other Portal-related news, a reader sent in a video of his efforts to get GLaDOS running on his home computer. He writes, "I used Microsoft's Kinect technology as the platform and sound files from my copy of Portal 2 to create my own GLaDOS. My plan is to make the source code (but not the audio files) open source once it gets farther along. The technology has already been useful to my parents in helping them more easily navigate a computer."

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Nasdaq Intrusion Spreads To Listed Companies
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's careful-they-might-tank-the-economy department:
New submitter SpzToid writes "Nasdaq's Directors Desk is a program sold to both listed and private companies, whose board members use it to share documents and communicate with executives. Apparently Directors Desk was infected during a breach widely publicized earlier this year. It has now become known that hackers were able to access confidential documents and communications of the corporate directors and board members who received this infected application, said Tom Kellermann, chief technology officer with security technology firm AirPatrol Corp. It is unclear how long the Directors Desk application was infected before the exchange identified the breach, according to Kellermann and another source."

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Orionid Meteor Shower Peaks Early Tomorrow Morning
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 01:46 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's lights-in-the-sky department:
New submitter blastoff9 sends this excerpt from Space.com:
"The annual October meteor shower will peak before sunrise on Saturday (Oct. 22) as the Earth passes through a stream of leftover dust from the famous Halley's Comet. The Orionid meteor shower promises to offer skywatchers with a dark sky and good weather up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak, according to a NASA forecast.... The Orionids are visible each year, even though Halley's comet only swings by about every 75 years. This is because comets leave a trail of volatile ices and dust along their orbital path that hangs around long after the comets have come and gone."

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Senator Introduces Bill To Stop Warrantless GPS Tracking
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 01:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's location-location-location department:
bs0d3 writes "Right now the police and FBI are able to use GPS tracking devices, stingrays, and other tracking technologies without a warrant. They can read your personal emails without a warrant, they can recall your phone call history, all without a warrant. These are clear violations of the fourth amendment, but time and time again the courts are ruling that the fourth amendment doesn't protect people who use modern technology. This week Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Jason Chaffetz (D-UT) announced a bill with bipartisan support called the Geolocation Privacy and Surveillance Act. It provides sorely needed legal clarity for the use of electronically-obtained location data that can be used to track and log the location and movements of individual Americans. The G.P.S. Act is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, Americans for Tax Reform, Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Constitution Project, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The full text of the bill can be read online."

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Most Sophisticated Rootkit Getting an Overhaul
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's evil-upgrades department:
jfruhlinger writes "TDL4, a rootkit that helps build a powerful botnet, is pegged by security vendor ESET as one of the most sophisticated pieces of malware in the world. But its creators aren't resting on their laurels; they're rewriting some of the code from the ground up to make it difficult for antimalware to detect it, creating a hidden boot partition that guarantees malware code will be loaded even before the operating system is. It's part of a plan to turn TDL4 into a turnkey product that can be sold to other criminal operations."

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Blizzard Announces New WoW Expansion: Mists of Pandaria
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's april-fools-becomes-a-reality department:
Blizzcon 2011 kicked off today, and the biggest announcement from the opening ceremonies was the development of a new expansion for World of Warcraft. Titled Mists of Pandaria, the expansion will focus on the battle between the Horde and the Alliance instead of a traditional Big Bad Enemy. There will be both a new race — Pandaren — and a new class — Monk. The level cap will be raised to 90, there will be "challenge mode" dungeons, and they're introducing a pet battle system. Blizzard also mentioned that people who buy a 12-month subscription to WoW will get a copy of Diablo 3 for free.

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US Troops To Leave Iraq By End of Year
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's pack-your-things department:
mayberry42 writes with news that President Obama has announced an end to the U.S. military engagement in Iraq. All U.S. soldiers will leave Iraq by the end of the year.
"Mr. Obama said that as of Jan. 1, 2012, the United States and Iraq would begin 'a normal relationship between two sovereign nations, and equal partnership based on mutual interest and mutual respect.' In a videoconference on Friday morning with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Mr. Obama told him of the administration’s decision, which grows out of an inability of the United States and Iraq to come to an agreement on leaving a few thousand military trainers in the country. The United States had earlier agreed to exit Iraq by the end of the year and leave 3,000 to 5,000 troops in Iraq as trainers, with some members of Congress advocating the retention of a reduced fighting force as well. But Pentagon lawyers insisted that the Iraqi Parliament grant immunity from legal prosecution to the troops if they were to remain."

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A Digital Direct Democracy For the Modern Age
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's straight-from-the-digital-horse's-mouth department:
New submitter lordofthechia writes "Last month the White House created an online petition system through which constituents can directly voice any grievances and concerns to the US government. Any petition that reaches 25,000 signatures (5,000 originally) is promised an official reply. This weekend the first petitions will be closing, and already many have far exceeded the required number of signatures. Is this the way for the voice of the electorate to gain more weight in modern politics, or is it the web version of a placebo button? Will the President's office really consider the top pleas, which include petitions to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana, Forgive Student Loan Debt, and Abolish the TSA?"

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Researchers ID Skype, BitTorrent Users
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cross-contamination department:
itwbennett writes "Researchers have figured out a way to link online Skype users to their activity on peer-to-peer networks like BitTorrent. The team was able to sift out the nodes through which Skype calls are routed and determine the user's real IP address by sniffing the packets. To correlate the identified Skype users with files shared on BitTorrent, the researchers built tools to collect BitTorrent file identifiers, a BitTorrent crawler to collect IP addresses on the network and a verifier to match an online Skype user with an online BitTorrent user (PDF). 'As soon as the BitTorrent crawler detects a matching IP address, it signals the verifier, which immediately calls the corresponding Skype user and, at the same time, initiates a handshake with the BitTorrent client,' they wrote."

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$529M DOE Loan Spawns $97K Made-in-Finland Cars
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mission-accomplished department:
theodp writes "With PR successes like the Fisker Karma, does the Department of Energy need to worry about PR failures like Solyndra? ABC News and others are reporting that electric car company Fisker, which received a $529M federal loan guarantee with the approval of the Obama administration, is assembling its first line of $96,985 base-priced hybrid cars in Finland, saying it could not find a facility in the United States capable of doing the work. According to Green Car Reports, Fisker said the EPA had rated the Karma at 54 MPGe (MPG-equivalent) when running on electricity from its battery pack, and that the EPA-rated electric range would be 32 miles. Omitted from the press release was the 20-mpg rating for a Karma running on power from its range-extending gasoline engine."

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Study Finds No Link Between Mobile Phones and Cancer (Again)
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's discard-the-tinfoil-hat department:
judgecorp writes "A Danish study of more than 350,000 people found no correlation between using a mobile phone and getting cancer. The results backs up previous work, but researchers say more work is needed to be completely sure."

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How Open Source Hardware Is Kick-Starting Kickstarter
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody-out-there-needs-an-inboard-outboard-toaster department:
ptorrone writes "Imagine waking up and seeing your design for a circuit being used in a product by someone who never contacted you to ask if it was okay. You will not get any payment for their usage of your design, they've raised over $31,000, and they're selling something you worked really hard on. You have no control over what someone does with something you made. Is this a nightmare? Perhaps for some, but this is actually a dream come true for others who do open-source hardware. MAKE magazine profiles a maker using open-source hardware for his now-funded project and looks at others using open hardware for their works."

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Microsoft Roslyn: Reinventing the Compiler As We Know It
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 07:46 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-with-3d department:
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister sees Microsoft's Project Roslyn potentially reinventing how we view compilers and compiled languages. 'Roslyn is a complete reengineering of Microsoft's .NET compiler toolchain in a new way, such that each phase of the code compilation process is exposed as a service that can be consumed by other applications,' McAllister writes. 'The most obvious advantage of this kind of "deconstructed" compiler is that it allows the entire compile-execute process to be invoked from within .NET applications. With the Roslyn technology, C# may still be a compiled language, but it effectively gains all the flexibility and expressiveness that dynamic languages such as Python and Ruby have to offer.'"

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Proposed Mercury Ban Threatens Vaccines
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ban-venus-too department:
T Murphy writes "Although in the draft stages, a treaty being pushed by the United Nations Environment Programme has a blanket ban on mercury. While the ban would stop the use of mercury in paints or pesticides, it currently has no exemptions to allow for other small uses, such as in thermisol, which is used as a preservative in vaccines. The next meeting to discuss this treaty will be at the end of October."

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The Case For Piracy
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's arrr-me-hearties department:
An anonymous reader writes "A mainstream media outlet has published an article called 'The Case for Piracy. The writer shows how copyright has been hijacked by corporations and that publishers are their own worst enemies. 'One of the main reasons we all have anti-piracy slogans embedded in our brains is because the music industry chose to try and protect its existing market and revenue streams at all costs and marginalise and vilify those who didn't want to conform to the harsh new rules being set.' There's a lot in the article that Slashdot readers can relate to, and it's interesting that so many replies seem to agree with the author."

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Global Warming 'Confirmed' By Independent Study
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's time-to-crank-the-AC department:
chrb writes "The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Project — an independent study of Earth's historical temperature record partly funded by climate skeptics, including the Koch brothers — has released preliminary results that show the same warming trend as previous research. Project leader and physics professor Richard Muller, of the University of California, has stated that he was 'surprised' at the close agreement, and it 'confirms that these studies were done carefully.' The study also found that warming in the temperature record was not caused by poor quality weather monitoring stations — thus rejecting a frequent claim of skeptics. Climate skeptic Stephen McIntyre has previously said 'anything that [Muller] does will be well done.'"

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Jobs Wanted To Destroy Android
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's blunt-and-honest department:
hype7 writes "It's clear Steve Jobs didn't pull any punches from the interviews for his forthcoming biography. In the latest release from the book, hosted over at AP, 'Isaacson wrote that Jobs was livid in January 2010 when HTC introduced an Android phone that boasted many of the popular features of the iPhone. Apple sued, and Jobs told Isaacson in an expletive-laced rant that Google's actions amounted to "grand theft." ... "I'm going to destroy Android, because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go thermonuclear war on this." ... In a subsequent meeting with Schmidt at a Palo Alto, Calif., cafe, Jobs told Schmidt that he wasn't interested in settling the lawsuit, the book says. "I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want." The meeting, Isaacson wrote, resolved nothing.'"

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How To Stop the Next WikiLeaks
Posted by News Fetcher on October 21 '11 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's plugging-the-holes department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Eli Lake reports that the U.S.'s 16 intelligence agencies are using a program called SureView that makes it easier to spy on the spies and catch whistleblowers early in the act. SureView is a type of auditing software that specializes in 'behavior-based internal monitoring' that monitors the intelligence officer's computer activity. If the officer acts like a potential leaker, sending an encrypted email or using an unregistered thumb drive, the analyst might push a button and watch a screen video of the officer's last hour of work. Once a case is made that a leak might be imminent, it is checkmate: the agent is thwarted. 'Had SureView been on Bradley Manning's machine, no one would know who Bradley Manning is today,' says Ryan Szedelo, manager for Raytheon's SureView software. The intelligence community has had auditing software for years. SureView came on the market in 2002. But the programs were buggy and often prone to false positives, alerting a network administrator too often to routine behavior. 'The technology has gotten substantially better in the last year,' says Jeffrey Harris, a former head of the National Reconnaissance Office. 'The problem with audit files was it took an army of people to understand them. Now we have rule-driven systems and expert systems that help us reason through the data.'"

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