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Occupy Protesters Are Building a Facebook for the 99%
Posted by News Fetcher on December 30 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's will-it-have-games? department:
hypnosec writes "In 2011, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook helped protesters to spread their cause and garner support across the world. What started out as a minor protest comprised of a handful of people turned into a worldwide protest thanks to the use of social media. According to Wired, after seeing the impact social media platforms have had on protests worldwide, several Occupy Wall Street protesters are creating their own social networking platform aimed at spreading awareness about particular causes and rallying people for protests."

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Attack Tool Released For WPS Setup Flaw
Posted by News Fetcher on December 30 '11 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's choose-your-weapon department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Just a day after security researcher Stefan Viehbock released details of a vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Setup (WPS) standard that enables attackers to recover the router PIN, a security firm has published an open-source tool capable of exploiting the vulnerability. The tool, known as Reaver, has the ability to find the WPS PIN on a given router and then recover the WPA passphrase for the router, as well. Tactical Network Solutions has released the tool as an open-source project on Google Code, but also is selling a more advanced commercial version."

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Transistor Made From Cotton Yarn
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's your-socks-want-more-ram department:
MrSeb writes "Altering the very fabric of technophilic society, a multinational team of material scientists have created electric circuits and transistors out of cotton fibers (abstract). Two kinds of transistor were created: a field-effect transistor (FET), much like the transistors found in your computer's CPU; and an electrochemical transistor, which is similar but capable of switching at lower voltages, and thus better suited for wearable computers. Cotton itself is an insulator, but by using various coatings, the team from Italy, France, and the United States was able to make conductor and semiconductor cotton 'wires' that retained most of their flexibility. The immediate use-cases are clothes with built-in sensors (think radiation or heartbeat monitors), but ultimately, think of how many thousands of interconnections are in every piece of cotton clothing — you could make a fairly powerful computer!"

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UK Ministry of Defense Improves War Games For Console Generation
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-war-you-can-relate-to department:
hypnosec writes "The UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) has begun updating its Battlespace2 and other simulations to bring them in line with commercial wargames like Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. Andrew Poulter heads up the technical team behind the war-game and said that while back in the 80s and 90s, military simulations were state of the art, today they have fallen far behind commercial alternatives in terms of graphics and plot. With that in mind, the MoD has been investing heavily in what's known as 'Project Kite' (knowledge information test environment), designed to bring the training software to the forefront of military shooters. Some of this is down to the current generation of new recruits having been raised on shooter titles from both the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. This means they've been used to high quality first person shooter games. Taking a step down in graphics and immersion is hardly a way to train a soldier how to react in certain situations."

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China Reveals Its Space Plans Up To 2016
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's moving-on-up department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "China plans to launch space labs and manned ships and prepare to build space stations over the next five years, according to a plan released Thursday that shows the country's space program is gathering momentum. China's space program has already made major breakthroughs in a relatively short time, although it lags far behind the United States and Russia in space technology and experience. The country will continue exploring the moon using probes, start gathering samples of the moon's surface, and 'push forward its exploration of planets, asteroids and the sun.' Some elements of China's program, notably the firing of a ground-based missile into one of its dead satellites four years ago, have alarmed American officials and others who say such moves could set off a race to militarize space. That the program is run by the military has made the U.S. reluctant to cooperate with China in space, even though the latter insists its program is purely for peaceful ends."

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Court Rules Website Immune From Suit For Defamatory Posting
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's people-say-the-craziest-things department:
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "RipoffReport.com contained an admittedly defamatory posting, by one of its users, about a person who operated a Florida corporation providing addiction treatment services. Although the site was asked by the poster herself to remove the post, it refused. A Florida appeals court has ruled that the site is absolutely immune from suit (pdf), and cannot even be directed to remove the offending post, since under the Communications Decency Act (27 USC 230) 'no cause of action may be brought' against a provider of an "interactive computer service" based upon information provided by a 3rd party."

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What's Wrong With the US Defense R&D Budget?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's loosest-sense department:
Harperdog writes "Here's an in-depth analysis of what constitutes defense R&D spending and how some of those projects are classified. From the article: 'But much of what transpires in the name of military research and development is not research in the sense that it produces scientific and technical knowledge widely applicable inside and outside the Defense Department. A large part of defense R&D activity revolves around building very expensive gadgets that are often based on unsound technology and frequently fail to perform as required.'"

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Ebert: I'll Tell You Why Movie Revenue Is Dropping
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lets-all-stay-in-the-lobby department:
schwit1 writes in with a link to Roger Ebert's webpage where he gives his opinion on the decline of movie industry revenues."According to Ebert movie piracy isn't the problem. He contends that the industry needs to lower prices on tickets and popcorn, keep people off their cell phones, show a wider variety of films, and understand that movie streaming is here to stay. From the article: 'The message I get is that Americans love the movies as much as ever. It's the theaters that are losing their charm.
Proof: theaters thrive that police their audiences, show a variety of titles and emphasize value-added features. The rest of the industry can't depend forever on blockbusters to bail it out.'"


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Stephen Hawking Looking For Personal Techie
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's polish-up-the-resume department:
kaptink writes "One of the great grandmasters of space, time and the history of our existence is seeking an assistant to help develop and maintain the electronic speech system that allows him to communicate his vision of the universe. An informal job ad posted on Stephen's website said the assistant should be computer literate, ready to travel and able to repair electronic devices 'with no instruction manual or technical support.' He lost his real voice in a tracheotomy in 1985, but has something based on NeoSpeech's VoiceText speech synthesizer mounted on his wheelchair that helps synthesize speech by interpreting the twitches of his face. The synthesizer's robotic monotone has become nearly as famous as Hawking himself, but the computer — powered by batteries fastened to the back of Hawking's wheelchair — isn't just for speaking. It can connect to the internet over mobile phone networks and a universal infrared remote enables the physicist to switch on the lights, watch television, or open doors either at home or at the office. It's a complicated, tailor-made system, as the ad makes clear. A photograph of the back of Hawking's wheelchair, loaded with coiled wires and electronic equipment, is pictured under the words: 'Could you maintain this? If your answer is "yes", we'd like to hear from you!'. Hawking's website says that the job's salary is expected to be about $38,500 a year."

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TSA Got Everything It Wanted For Christmas
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's nothing-to-hide-enjoy-the-massage department:
OverTheGeicoE writes "It looks like Congress' recent jabs at TSA were just posturing after all. Last Friday, President Obama signed a spending act passed by both houses of Congress. The act gives TSA a $7.85 billion budget increase for 2012 and includes funding for 12 additional multi-modal Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams and 140 new behavior detection officers. It even includes funding for 250 shiny new body scanners, which was originally cut from the funding bill last May."

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Wikipedia To Dump GoDaddy Over SOPA
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's go-daddy-yourself department:
Reader jampola points out that Wikimedia's Jimmy Wales last week said clearly what was only hinted at earlier in the month; now "It's not only imgur (among many others) who are giving GoDaddy the flick; it also appears Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikimedia, will be making the change. While unsure to what effect Wikimedia utilizes the services of GoDaddy, I imagine this could very well be another public blow for GoDaddy in the wrong direction over their decision to support SOPA."

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How Doctors Die
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's self-healing-fail department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. Ken Murray, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC, writes that doctors don't die like the rest of us. What's unusual about doctors is not how much treatment they get when faced with death themselves, but how little. For all the time they spend fending off the deaths of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves because they know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices, and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. 'Almost all medical professionals have seen what we call "futile care" being performed on people,' writes Murray. 'What it buys is misery we would not inflict on a terrorist. I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, "Promise me if you find me like this that you'll kill me."' Feeding into the problem are unrealistic expectations of what doctors can accomplish. Many people think of CPR as a reliable lifesaver when, in fact, the results are usually poor. If a patient suffers from severe illness, old age, or a terminal disease, the odds of a good outcome from CPR are infinitesimal, while the odds of suffering are overwhelming."

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Ask Slashdot: Best Android Tablet For Travel?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's does-this-come-in-green? department:
PerlJedi writes "I am planing a long trip (to Ireland), and want to buy an Android tablet to take along for the trip. I am a software engineer (I actually work for Slashdot), a Linux geek, and an Android fan. I would like to get a tablet primarily to use for entertainment (when I'm not working or building robots in my workshop, I'm usually playing with my phone), but something I could get some work done from in a pinch would be a major plus (all I need to be able to work is a Web browser, and an ssh terminal, preferably with a keyboard). My current cell phone is the Samsung Charge, rooted and running GummyCharge 2.1, and it is a good bet I'll want to root whatever tablet I get, if not right away, soon after getting it. From an entertainment standpoint I want something that is large enough to watch high definition videos on, with a battery life that will make it practical for use on a long flight. Having a decent camera would be a nice plus, but is not an absolute necessity. Having a forward facing camera for video chat would also be good, but is also not a necessity." PerlJedi's got a few options in mind; read on for the details of his reasoning and help him fulfill his quest.

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Russia Building World's Largest Li-Ion Battery Plant
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's watt-could-go-wrong? department:
MikeChino writes "Russia and China are gearing up to dominate the lithium battery battery industry by launching the world's largest Li-ion plant (press release). Planned for Novobirsk, Russia, the facility will be a joint venture between Chinese firm Thunder Sky and RUSNANO (a Russian state-run corporation) and it will be able to produce up to 500,000 batteries (of all sizes) per year."

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Intel Ships New Atom Processors To PC Makers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's shipping-them-to-zoos-wasn't-working department:
randomErr writes "Intel began shipping the new mobile Atom, formerly codenamed 'Cedar Trail', processors to manufacturers. As with most new chips it has more features and longer battery life. Intel said today 'Computing systems using new Atom processors will debut in early 2012 through leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba.'"

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No IPv6 Doomsday In 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-your-panic-while-supplies-last department:
itwbennett writes "Yes, IPv4 addresses are running out, but a Y2K-style disaster/frenzy won't be coming in 2012. Instead, businesses are likely to spend the coming year preparing to upgrade to IPv6, experts say. Of course there's a chance that panic will ensue when Europe's RIPE hands out its last IPv4 addresses this summer, but 'most [businesses] understand that they can live without having to make any major investments immediately,' said IDC analyst Nav Chander. Plus, it won't be until 2013 that North America will run out of IPv4 addresses and there's no sense getting worked up before then."

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Researchers Demo New GSM Attacks at Chaos Communications Congress
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's your-party's-on-the-line department:
First time accepted submitter aeturnus writes "A new attack on the GSM mobile communications protocol has been demonstrated by Karsten Nohl and Luca Melette of Security Research Labs, based off their previously published attacks around vulnerabilities in the GSM A5/1 encryption protocol. This new attack, which Nohl indicates already in use by criminals, allows an attacker to simulate a GSM mobile and use it to make calls and send text messages. Nohl also discussed protective measures users should take against these attacks, and others in use by intelligence communities around the world." This was just one of many presentations at the 28th Chaos Communications Congress.

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HTC Unlocks Bootloader For All of Its Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hunting-goodwill department:
An anonymous reader writes "HTCDEV annouced today "HTC is committed to listening to users and delivering customer satisfaction. We plan on releasing the updates that will allow you to unlock your bootloader in the coming months." However they do note this: 'It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader may be covered under warranty' and this 'We strongly suggest that you do not unlock the bootloader unless you are confident that you understand the risks involved.' This looks like a new year gift to some."

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World's Worst PR Guy Gives His Side
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's silence-is-golden department:
First time accepted submitter Narnie writes "Follow up to Tuesday's story of a PR rep's lack of professionalism. Kyle Orland provides a follow up interview with Paul Christoforo after a simple email chain escalated into internet infamy. N-Control official response to Paul Chrostoforo's actions can be found here. Kotaku.com even has a whole section devoted to covering the entire ordeal. I for one found myself caught following the news releases and in awe of the combined load forced on penny-arcade's servers from Slashdot, Reddit, Digg, Kotaku, and other news sites covering the story."

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How a Gesture Could Get Your Google+ Profile Picture Yanked
Posted by News Fetcher on December 29 '11 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-it's-a-digital-messaging-platform department:
SharkLaser writes "It turns out that Google has started to remove Google+ pictures that have persons giving the middle finger in it. 'Our policy page states, "Your Profile Picture cannot include mature or offensive content." Your profile photo was taken down as a violation of this policy.' Google+ is supposed to be a universal social network and 'identity service,' and to allow sharing like in real life — a public venue for free expressions. Since the middle finger is such culturally-specific issue, will Google+ also start to remove things like showing the palms of your hands to people (considered an insult in Greece), showing the soles of your shoes (insult in the Middle East), and patting someone's head (an insult in Buddhist countries)? A good number of Google+ users have started to change their profile picture to include the middle finger to show support to MG Siegler, who got his profile picture removed by Google."

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