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Libraries Release Most-Censored Books List
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's words-are-dangerous department:
destinyland writes "The American Library Association released this year's list of the most-frequently censored books. (Included in the top 10 are two best-selling novels — Twilight and The Hunger Games — as well as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.) The annual list celebrates 'the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment,' according to the library association, highlighting 'the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship.' Interestingly, seven of the ten most-censored books are now available on Amazon's Kindle — more than twice as many as last year."

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ACTA To Be Signed This Weekend
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's yep-this-happened department:
We've been following the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement for over three years, from its secretive beginnings, to the controversy and debate that followed, and to the document it eventually evolved into. Now, Japan has announced that the agreement will finally be signed on Saturday during a ceremony that follows an anti-piracy symposium on Friday.
"The negotiation has been carried out among Australia, Canada, the European Union and its Member States, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States, and reached a general agreement at the negotiation meeting held in Japan in October 2010, followed by the completion of technical and translation work in April 2011. ... The signing ceremony will be attended by the representatives of all the participants in the ACTA negotiations, and those that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign the agreement. The agreement is open for signature until May 1, 2013."

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Bethesda's 'Scrolls' Lawsuit Going Ahead
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's really-guys department:
New submitter person46 writes "Bethesda's lawsuit against Mojang, developers of Minecraft, is going to court. As you may recall, Bethesda is claiming copyright infringement over the title of Mojang's upcoming CCG/board game Scrolls. Bethesda claims that the name and game concept are too similar to their well-known RPG franchise The Elder Scrolls. '[C]ourt documents show that Bethesda lawyers plan to use comments on Scrolls articles and videos from around the web to show how people will confuse Scrolls with The Elder Scrolls. He also added that they've captured screenshots of Scrolls' trailer as a way of showing how Mojang has copied Bethesda because both Skyrim and Scrolls contain mountains.' Mojang founder Notch had offered to settle the dispute with a friendly game of Quake 3, but apparently Bethesda wasn't up for that."

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Global Internet Governance Fight Looms
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 06:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's whether-the-bear-wins-or-the-fox-wins-the-rabbit-loses department:
QuietLagoon writes "The global fight among governments over control of the Internet is heating up amid a flurry of documents, the opening of the United Nations' General Assembly (GA) and next week's Internet Governance Forum (IGF). Will the change in Internet governance result in states like China and Russia exerting more control over what is allowed on the Internet? The United States has so far comprehensively outmaneuvered attempts by other governments to seize control of the Internet, helped by the fact that it holds the keys and represents the status quo. But how long will it continue to be able to do so?"

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Square Enix Admits Final Fantasy XIV Damaged Brand
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-downhill-since-tellah-died department:
_xeno_ writes "It's taken a year since Final Fantasy XIV launched to what can at best be called unfavorable reviews, but Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada is finally willing to admit that the (still subscription-free) MMO 'greatly damaged' the entire Final Fantasy brand. Despite this damage, Wada said Square Enix will continue to work on 'reviving' the game, with an upcoming patch promising to finally introduce such series staples as chocobos and airships. Even so, there's still no word on the PS3 release, which was delayed until the game was 'fixed,' nor is there any sign that Square Enix feels the game will be worth a subscription fee any time soon."

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Cold-War Missile Launches Military Satellite
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's swords-to-flying-swords department:
Velcroman1 writes "At 11:49 a.m. EDT, a Minotaur IV+ rocket — essentially a decommissioned Peacekeeper missile built decades ago during the Cold War — launched the TacSat-4 satellite into orbit. Most troops today carry PRC-117 radios for communication, devices that rely on UHF transmissions. They relay calls and data back to a base station that's brought in and fixed in place, either set up on a hillside locally or carried overhead in a nearby plane. The TacSat-4 (or tactical microsatellite) lets the hundreds of thousands of military handheld radios currently in use communicate directly with an antenna orbiting in the most convenient spot imaginable: all that space overhead. 'If you're a mobile force, that requires a mobile infrastructure, the best place to put that infrastructure is in space,' said Dr. Larry Schuette, director of innovation for the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR)."

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Sesame Street Begins Teaching Math and Science
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's c-is-for-cookie department:
An anonymous reader sends in this excerpt from ABC News:
"This season of 'Sesame Street,' which premiered today, has added a few new things to its usual mix of song, dance and educational lessons. In its 42nd season, the preschool educational series is tackling math, science, technology and engineering — all problem areas for America's students — in hopes of helping kids measure up. ... This season, 'Sesame Street' will include age-appropriate experimentation — even the orange monster Murray will conduct science experiments in a recurring feature."

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Scientists Restore Lost Brain Function In Rat With Synthetic Device
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-will-he-ever-play-the-guitar-again department:
V!NCENT writes with news that researchers at Tel Aviv University have replaced a synaptic microcircuit inside a rat's cerebellum with a fully synthetic version, while maintaining proper functioning. The targeted area of the rat's brain involved its ability to blink its eyes in response to particular stimuli. "To test the chip, they anesthetized a rat and disabled its cerebellum before hooking up their synthetic version. They then tried to teach the anesthetized animal a conditioned motor reflex — a blink — by combining an auditory tone with a puff of air on the eye, until the animal blinked on hearing the tone alone. They first tried this without the chip connected, and found the rat was unable to learn the motor reflex. But once the artificial cerebellum was connected, the rat behaved as a normal animal would, learning to connect the sound with the need to blink." Study author Matti Mintz said of the work, "It's proof of concept that we can record information from the brain, analyze it in a way similar to the biological network, and return it to the brain."

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Canadian Government Says DRM Circumvention Not Related To Copyright
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's you-don't-have-to-copy-to-violate-copyright department:
An anonymous reader writes "Michael Geist has followed up a recent
release
of internal government talking points on copyright with the full, internal clause-by-clause analysis of Bill C-32. A new copyright bill is
expected as soon as this week and the government document confirms there is no defense to violations of the digital lock rules, noting 'a contravention of this prohibition is not an infringement of copyright and the defenses to
infringement of copyright are not defenses to these prohibitions.' The government's own words on the digital lock provisions confirm that they may be unconstitutional since they fall outside the boundaries of copyright."

Basically, if you break DRM even without violating copyright in the process you can still be held liable, and from this any defense based on copyright law (fair use, etc.) is not valid in such cases. On the flipside, several legal experts think that makes those provisions of the law less likely to stand up in court.

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Social Media Bubble Pops Before It Fully Inflates
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's pop-pop-pop department:
bdking writes "Groupon's IPO plans are melting down. Facebook has pushed back its IPO to next September. And now Zynga reports a 95% reduction in sequential quarterly profits. So much for the social media IPO bubble."

At least everyone is getting let down before a lot of people lose a lot of money this time around.

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Mozilla Foundation Releases Firefox 7
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's hep-cats-already-have-firefox-57 department:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has released Firefox 7.0. It hasn't actually reduced my memory footprint at first glance, but let's hope that the memory usage doesn't keep growing like it used to. We'll also see if it crashes less often than once every three days or so."

The initial memory use of Firefox should remain similar to previous releases, but at least the heap shouldn't grow infinitely as it does in previous releases.

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MRI Magnets Cause Nystagmus
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's twirling-twirling-toward-vomit department:
Hitting the main page for the first time, tibit writes "In an interesting twist on 'it's so old it's new again', Johns Hopkins researchers led by Dale Roberts found what must have been causing much confusion for doctors the world over: strong external magnetic field can stimulate the semicircular canals, causing vertigo and nystagmus (pendular eye motion). It's a textbook case of Lorentz force in action: our angular rate gyros, the semicircular canals in the middle ear, filled with endolymph, have a ionic current flowing across. In magnetic field, the current produces a force that pushes the lymph along the channel, causing stimulation of the cupula — a pressure sensor at the end of the channel. This is interpreted by the brain as rotation of head in space, and causes a nystagmus that's supposed to stabilize the image on the retina. Of course the subject is laying down and not spinning in space, and the mismatch between inertial measurements coming from the ear and real situation causes vertigo."

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OnStar Reverses ToS Changes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's or-will-they department:
First time accepted submitter BlackWind writes "It seems that even Government Motors is smart enough to figure out when they've gone too far. GM announced that the OnStar service will revert to their previous Terms of Service in the wake of the firestorm of criticism that their plan to sell GPS data created."

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Microsoft Disables Kelihos Botnet
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's i'm-down-to-20k-viagra-offers-per-day department:
Trailrunner7 writes with an excerpt from an article in Threatpost: "Continuing its legal assault on botnet operators and the hosting companies that the criminals use for their activities, Microsoft has announced new actions against a group of people it contends are responsible for the operation of the Kelihos botnet. The company has also helped to take down the botnet itself and says that Kelihos's operators were using it not only to send out spam and steal personal information but also for some more nefarious purposes."

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Conflict Between Occupy Wall Street Protestors and NYPD Escalating
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's criminals-in-uniform department:
phx_zs writes "Today marks the tenth consecutive day that thousands of protesters have flooded the streets of Manhattan, specifically the financial district. ... Sunday marked a change of events as high-ranking NYPD officers exhibited brutal, unprovoked aggression on the peaceful group, reportedly arresting at least 80 people. Many photos and videos have surfaced of NYPD officers slamming protesters on the ground or into parked cars, and in one well-covered incident a NYPD officer (with pending police brutality charges from 2004) maced innocent female protesters point blank for no apparent reason. Many eyewitnesses and several news articles report that the NYPD specifically targeted photographers and media teams streaming the event live on the internet."

Do any Slashdotters have eyewitness reports to share? There seems to be a lot of misinformation originating from all parties involved making it difficult to know how large the protest actually is at this point and whether or not the police are being quite as universally violent as the protestors imply.

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Drunken Parrot Season Starts in Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's fly-a-straight-line department:
bazzalunatic writes "Each wet season in northern Australia dozens of colorful lorikeets have to be rescued because they appear drunk, fall out of trees and even get a hangover-like sickness. No one knows quite what's going on, but the best explanation is they get smashed from fermented fruit. From the story: 'Experts say they are not sure if the lorikeets are actually drunk, but they do have tell-tale symptoms. "They exhibit odd behavior like falling over or difficulty flying [and] they keep running into things," says Darwin vet Dr Stephen Cutter from The Ark Animal Hospital.'"

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Apple Says Samsung 3G Patents Violate RAND Requirements
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's patents-are-only-ok-when-my-side-uses-them department:
judgecorp writes "The patent dispute between Samsung and Apple has finally boiled down to clear understandable terms. Samsung says Apple has not been paying it royalties for use of patented 3G technology. Apple says Samsung smuggled that technology into the 3G standards, disclosing its IP demands later. The Dutch court will rule on 14 October."

The issue at hand now seems to be whether Apple already has a license to the patents under the 3G "Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory" requirements for patentented technology used in the standard. If Samsung really believes Apple needs a separate license, when can we expect them to sue everyone else?

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Facebook Fixes Post Log-Out Cookie Behavior
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's crumble-less department:
An anonymous reader writes "Over the weekend, self-proclaimed hacker Nik Cubrilovic accused Facebook of tracking its users even if they log out of the social network. The company responded by denying the claims and offering an explanation as to why its cookies behave the way they do. Now, Cubrilovic says Facebook has made changes to the logout process, and detailed what each cookie is responsible for."

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Can Newegg Survive the Post-PC Future?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's agility-required department:
jfruhlinger writes "Upgrading your desktop PC's video card was once a rite of passage for many Slashdot readers — and could also be a gateway to building your own computer from the motherboard up. And more often than not, you bought the components from Newegg. But the tablets and ultrathin laptops that are today's hot sellers don't let you so much as swap in more RAM. What's a component retailer to do in world without user-serviceable components?"

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Spotify Defends Facebook Sign-Up Requirement
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-yet-integrated-into-slashcode department:
An anonymous reader writes "Music service Spotify has got music lovers' tutus in a twist by insisting that new users have a Facebook account in order to sign up. The company has now defended the policy, stating, oddly, that the Facebook obligation would make sign-up easier."

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