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Imaging the Molecular Orbitals of Pentacene
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's didn't-keats-write-an-ode-about-that? department:
eparker05 writes "Researchers at University of Liverpool have used a scanning tunneling microscope to image the aromatic molecule pentacene (Abstract). Not unexpectedly, the resulting images showed an astonishingly close correlation to the theoretically predicted molecular orbitals. This incredible set of images reminds me of the group that imaged a single carbon atom in 2009."

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Hurricane Irene Threatens US Northeast; Cover Your Assets
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-she's-always-theatening-people department:
jfruhlinger writes "Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the heavily populated U.S. Northeast Corridor. If you work in IT, you know that there are few things that are worse for electronics than water; so, what's your plan? Tom Henderson has come up with a checklist, which sensibly includes backing everything up, twice; not that you have time for it now, but for future reference you might want to consider just moving your whole data center to a location that's been conveniently pre-hardened, like a water tower or a boiler room." Note that Irene has been no joke in the Caribbean; in Puerto Rico (with relatively modern infrastructure), about a third of the island lost power.

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So Long, CmdrTaco, and Thanks For All The Posts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 10:31 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's gonna-let-you-finish-but department:
With CmdrTaco moving on to his temporary retirement home, the Slashdot editors who will continue to poke and prod at reader submissions (the heart and soul of this site: without readers, there'd be nothing to talk about as well as no one to talk about it) would like to offer an extended 'Thank You' to Rob, and offer some thoughts on the years so far, as well as what comes next. (Of late, though, we're lucky to have the growing contributions of Clinton Ebadi, aka Unknown Lamer, who got an oddball start on the Slashdot page a long time back.) Read on for a few words from Samzenpus, timothy, and Soulskill.

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Kickstarter-Like Service For Charities?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sounds-like-a-business-plan department:
First time accepted submitter chefmayhem writes "I'm one of a number of volunteer alumni trying to revive a high school summer science enrichment program, PGSS, cut unceremoniously by Pennsylvania in 2009 due to budget issues. Our alumni association has become a 501(c)3 non-profit and we're raising money through donations (over $100K from over 300 donors so far) to try to fund the program in 2012. The idea is that running the program this summer will give us momentum, and something to show off to potential corporate, philanthropic, and other funding sources. Trouble is, some potential donors are concerned that we won't raise enough to run the program this coming summer, and are hesitant to donate, even though the money will (one way or another) go to science education, even if we can't restore the program. Is there a web-based fundraising service, like kickstarter.com, but for charities, which will take pledges (and deal with credit card info, etc) but only charge donors if the goal is reached? It would also be important that non-donor sources (like some support from the state) can also count towards our fundraising goals. This could be a powerful tool for us, as well as other non-profits looking to make a dream come true."

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Michael Mann Vindicated (Again) Over Climategate
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's arguments-that-cannot-be-won department:
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University, was one of the central figures involved in the 'Climategate' controversy, which saw many private email conversations between researchers posted publicly. Now, an investigation (PDF) by the National Science Foundation has found "no basis to conclude that the emails were evidence of research misconduct or that they pointed to such evidence." Phil Plait points out that other investigations have found similarly that claims of Mann's misconduct took his statements out of context. 'A big claim by the deniers is that researchers were using "tricks" to falsify conclusions about global warming, but the NSF report is pretty clear that's not true. The most damning thing the investigators could muster was that there was "some concern" over the statistical methods used, but that's not scandalous at all; there's always some argument in science over methodology. The vague language of the report there indicates to me this isn't a big deal, or else they would've been specific. The big point is that the data were not faked.'"

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Linus' First Linux Post, 20 Years Ago Today
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's know-the-score department:
jrepin writes "One midsummer's night, a student at the University of Helsinki posted a query to the newsgroup comp.os.minix asking, 'What would you like to see most in minix?' The student's name was Linus Torvalds, and that Usenet post was the beginning of the Linux operating system. The date was 25 August 1991, exactly 20 years ago today. In 1991 Unix had existed for about 20 years, Apple had come out with its Mac OS in 1984, and Microsoft had been flogging Windows since 1985. Torvalds' ambitions for his 'new (free) operating system' were modest. It was to be 'just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu' for IBM PC '386(486) AT clones.' He wanted to call his OS kernel 'Freax,' but a friend who ran the FTP server that hosted the software named Torvalds' source code download directory 'linux' and the name stuck."

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SEC Hit With Data Destruction Complaint
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 07:32 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's stop-playing-plinko-with-your-backup-tapes department:
DMandPenfold writes "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US financial regulator, has been accused of destroying thousands of data files on high profile inquiries including an early-stage investigation into convicted Ponzi scheme fraudster Bernard Madoff. The allegations, raised by former SEC employee Darcy Flynn, have prompted the US Senate Judiciary Committee to write to SEC chairwoman Mary Schapiro to demand an immediate explanation. The SEC exists to set a tough example on corporate governance, and it fines banks heavily for both lax practice and deliberate malpractice. Questions over any involvement it may have in sensitive document destruction are not likely to sit comfortably with some in the industry. The SEC insists it has kept records in accordance with the law on its computer system"

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EFF Takes On Cisco's Role In China
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 07:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's technolegal-quagmires department:
decora writes "Several years ago, writer Du Daobin posted several essays on the internet, protesting such things as unfair taxes and the corruption of the media. He was then charged with 'inciting subversion of state power,' arrested, and after many legal twists and turns, tortured in prison. Daobin, along with several other dissidents with similar stories, decided to sue Cisco Systems (PDF) earlier this year under the legal theory that it aided and abetted China's violation of the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991. As the case moves forward, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security has stepped up its surveillance, harassment, and interrogation of Daobin and the others. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has now joined the Laogai Research Foundation to draw attention to the case. As part of its opening move, it has asked Cisco to make public statements in support of human rights, hoping that the company's influence with the Chinese government will provide some modicum of protection for the threatened dissidents."

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Is the Quick Death of Failed Tech Products a Good Thing?
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's first-impressions-are-everything department:
Joining the ranks of accepted submitters, HumanEmulator writes "The NY Times reports on how the Hollywood summer-movie business model is being applied to tech products: 'Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.' New products are being pulled from shelves only weeks after a lackluster release. What if the TouchPad, the Microsoft Kin, or even Google Wave had had more time on the market? Is this blockbuster-or-bust model a good thing for consumers, or for the industry in general?"

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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's steve-got-front-cutsies department:
After 14 years and over 15,000 stories posted, it's finally time for me to say Good-Bye to Slashdot. I created
this place with my best friends in a run down house while still in college. Since then it has grown to be read by
more than a million people, and has served Billions and Billions of Pages (yes, in my head I hear the voice).
During my tenure I have done my best to keep Slashdot firmly grounded in its origins, but now it's time for someone else
to come aboard and find the *future*. Personally I don't have any plans, but if you need to get ahold of me for
any reason, you can find me as @cmdrtaco on twitter or Rob Malda on Google+. You could also update my
mail address to be malda at cmdrtaco dot net. Hit the link below if you want to read some nostalgic saccharine crap that I need to get out of my system before I sign off for the last time.

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Why Nobody Wants You On OKCupid
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's resemble-that-remark department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Social awkwardness has the most opportunity to shine in your very first message to a potential sweetheart, write Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich at CNN. Bartz and Ehrlich enumerate and humorously describe seven types of message senders: the generalizer, the autobiographer, the 'eccentric,' the creeper, the gusher, and the wordless wonder. Our favorite: the generalizer, whose typical first message may be 'hey, wuts up?' Why does no one want the generalizer? 'You're probably stupid. Or possibly illiterate,' write Bartz and Ehrilich. According to OKTrends, bad grammar and bad spelling are huge turn-offs in a first message. 'Our negative correlation list is a fool's lexicon: ur, u, wat, wont, and so on. These all make a terrible first impression. In fact, if you count hit (and we do!) the worst 6 words you can use in a first message are all stupid slang.' Other tips from OKTrends' analysis of successful keywords and phrases from over 500,000 first contacts on OKCupid: Avoid physical compliments, bring up specific interests, and if you're a guy, be self-effacing."

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Dutch Court Says Android 2.3 Violates Apple Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's glad-that's-cleared-up department:
jfruhlinger writes "A Dutch court came to some interesting conclusions in the Apple-Samsung patent case raging there. The court rejected claims that Samsung stole intellectual copyrights, or that it slavishly copied Apple's iPad and iPhone. It did decide that Android 2.3 violated an Apple photo management patent — but said that Samsung could get around this simply by upgrading its phones to Android 3.0."

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PlayStation Home Transforming Into Social Platform
Posted by News Fetcher on August 25 '11 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-got-your-myspace-in-my-vidya-game department:
donniebaseball23 writes "Sony's virtual world, PlayStation Home, has seen over 23 million users since launching in December 2008, and now the service is about to undergo its biggest change yet. Jack Buser, director of PlayStation Home, says Sony is planning a 'total redesign of the heart of PlayStation Home' for this Fall. The idea is to put games (particularly free-to-play games) front and center on Home, utilizing a central Hub with a theme park design. The Hub will 'integrate games, quests, community events and user-generated content, while providing players with additional navigation, shopping, socialization and entertainment options.'"

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Controversial Cybercrime Bill Introduced In Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 11:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's good-enough-for-me-and-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Australian government instructed a committee to investigate required changes to cybercrime legislation. Having received the report, the government decide to ignore it and give the federal police almost everything it wants on a plate. From the article: 'The Australian Greens have questioned the decision of the Government and Opposition to pass the Cybercrime Bill unchanged through the House of Representatives despite recommendations by their own members of parliament to fix serious flaws. Greens communications spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said the Cyber Safety Committee had tabled a highly critical unanimous report on the bill, proposing a series of amendments and requests for clarification which were not addressed in the House.'"

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Entrepreneur Makes Millions Selling Virtual Land
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 10:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's expensive-patterns-of-electrons department:
kkleiner writes "How much would you pay for a piece of imaginary real estate? Anshe Chung has made millions renting it. Today, Anshe Chung Studios has 80+ employees managing thousands of rental properties, helping design new 3D virtual chat rooms, and making tons of money on virtual to real currency exchanges. Anshe was the first person whose virtual property exceeded a real world value of 1 million dollars, and Anshe Chung Studios is perhaps the single largest third party developer of virtual property ever."

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Facebook Data Collection Under Fire Again
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 09:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's das-ist-streng-verboten department:
JohnBert writes "A German privacy protection authority is calling on organizations there to close their Facebook fan pages and remove the social networking site's 'Like' button from their websites, arguing that Facebook harvests data in violation of German and European Union law. The Independent Centre for Privacy Protection (ULD), the privacy protection agency for the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, issued a news release on Friday saying Facebook builds a broad, individualized profile for people who view Facebook content on third-party websites. Data is sent back to Facebook's servers in the U.S., which the agency alleges violates the German Telemedia Act, the German Federal Data Protection Act and the Data Protection Act of Schleswig-Holstein. The agency alleges the data is held by Facebook for two years, and wants website owners in the state to remove links to Facebook by the end of next month or possibly face a fine."

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Java 7: What's In It For Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 07:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-a-look-under-the-hood department:
GMGruman writes "After five years of a torturous political process and now under the new ownership of Oracle, Java SE 7 is finally out (and its initial bugs patched in the Update 1 release). So what does it actually offer? Paul Krill surveys the new capabilities that matter most for Java developers, from dynamic language support to an improved file system."

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Can Google Save Us From Slow Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 04:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's quicken-my-pipes department:
First time accepted submitter CoveredTrax writes "As part of the beta test of their new gigabit fiber network, Google has provided Stanford University with mouthwateringly high-speed Internet. Since the program was announced, the service, which is now being provided free to students and faculty in the Palo Alto area, has got a lot of people to asking (sometimes begging) that their city be next on Google's list for communication salvation. But can Google save us all from inferior web access? And more importantly, is it a good idea to let them?"

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Apache Warns Web Server Admins of DoS Attack Tool
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 03:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-ya-neck department:
CWmike writes "Developers of the Apache open-source project warned users of the Web server software on Wednesday that a denial-of-service (DoS) tool is circulating that exploits a bug in the program. 'Apache Killer' showed up last Friday in a post to the 'Full Disclosure' security mailing list. The Apache project said it would release a fix for Apache 2.0 and 2.2 in the next 48 hours. All versions in the 1.3 and 2.0 lines are said to be vulnerable to attack. The group no longer supports the older Apache 1.3. 'The attack can be done remotely and with a modest number of requests can cause very significant memory and CPU usage on the server,' Apache said in an advisory. The bug is not new. Michal Zalewski, a security engineer who works for Google, pointed out that he had brought up the DoS exploitability of Apache more than four-and-a-half years ago. In lieu of a fix, Apache offered steps administrators can take to defend their Web servers until a patch is available."

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Steve Jobs Resigns As Apple CEO
Posted by News Fetcher on August 24 '11 at 03:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's au-revoir-mr.-jobs department:
An anonymous reader writes "The title says it all, really; Steve Jobs has resigned as the CEO of Apple, and would like to become Chairman of the Board. Reasons are not specified, but his declining health of recent years is a likely candidate. He's named Tim Cook as his successor."

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