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Opera's Haakon Wium Lie On CSS, Web Standards, and More
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '11 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's have-you-read-our-libretto? department:
mikemuch writes "The standard that eventually became CSS was originally submitted to Tim Berners-Lee et al by Haakon Wium Lie, who continues to have new ideas for the web formatting language. The latest proposal from the current CTO of Opera Software is the CSS Generated Content for Paged Media Module. Lie sat down with PCMag to discuss not only this scrollbar-free browsing initiative, but a wider range of Web topics, including thoughts on powers like Apple and Google. A teaser from the story: 'At Opera, we sometimes wake up in the morning and see a new Google service that could have been optimized if we could have worked with them in the development phase. It seems they're more eager to put out things and see what sticks.'"

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In Bolivia, a Supervolcano Is Rising
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '11 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's going-for-volcano-of-the-year department:
dutchwhizzman writes "Uturuncu is a Bolivian supervolcano. Research suggests that it has an eruption frequency of roughly 300.000 years and the last eruption was, give or take a few years, 300.000 years ago. Research suggests that it started rising in a 70 km circumference by 1 to 2 centimeters per year, making it the fastest-growing volcano on the planet. Break out the tin foil hats, and store plenty of canned beans, because it may just erupt before Yellowstone pops its cork."

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Oracle-Google Trial Won't Start Until Next Year
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '11 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wheels-of-justice-turn-slowly department:
angry tapir writes "The intellectual property lawsuit between Oracle and Google over the Android mobile OS won't go to trial until next year, according to a ruling made in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by the judge overseeing the case. The trial was initially set to begin Oct. 31 but was postponed last week by Judge William Alsup due to scheduling conflicts with a major criminal trial. The trial will be split into three stages heard by the same jury. In step one, 'liability on the copyright claims, including all defenses thereto, will be tried and determined by special verdict before going to Phase Two,' he wrote. The second phase will cover liability on the case's patent claims, he added. 'The jury will decide these issues before going to Phase Three.' In the final stage, 'all remaining issues will be tried, including damages and willfulness.'"

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US Funds Aggressive Tech To Cut Solar Power Costs
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '11 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's aim-big department:
coondoggie writes "The US Department of Energy wants researchers and scientists to 'think outside the box' and come up 'highly disruptive Concentrating Solar Power technologies that will meet 6/kWh cost targets by the end of the decade.' The DOE's 'SunShot Concentrating Solar Power R&D' is a multimillion dollar endeavor that intends to look beyond what it calls incremental near-term to support research into transformative technologies that will break through performance barriers known today such as efficiency and temperature limitations."

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Why Economic Models Are Always Wrong
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's soft-science department:
mayberry42 writes "Did you ever wonder how and why professional economists often seem to get it wrong in terms of predicting consequences or policies accurately (or even at all)? Or how very few even saw the current economic collapse? This article provides an interesting, if obvious, reason as to why economic models are effectively always wrong."

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China Hires 1 Million People To Fight Fake Products
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's authenticity-police department:
hackingbear writes "In a sign of the Chinese Government's intention to crack down on the black market, there were about 1 million people employed to remove fake goods from Chinese streets, according to the vice-chairman of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Wang Jinzhen. Like our War on Drugs, the chance of that succeeding is not very high. 'I don't think it will be completely corrected, but still it will be eased,' he said. 'That's good for China and the company and for everyone in the world.' One key reason why companies keep their R&D departments out side of China is because of concern over IP protection. As an engineer, should we wish their effort genuine and successful? Or as your grandma warned you, be careful what you wish for."

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Man Has Nokia Phone Embedded In False Limb
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's arm-phone department:
judgecorp writes "A British man born with one arm has a Nokia phone dock embedded in his prosthetic limb. Apparently, Apple refused to have an iPhone suitably customized for the job. From the article: 'Mr Prideaux, of Wedmore, Somerset, said: "I think this is the first time this has ever been done in the world - and it is brilliant. I can now take calls and make texts just by using my one hand, while the phone sits inside my arm. The phone slots smoothly and securely within my limb and is easily removable, when required. I think this would help a lot of people with prosthetic arms - especially those who were not born with the disability. People who have had motorbike crashes and soldiers who have lost limbs - they could all benefit from this."'"

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Antitrust Case Over, Microsoft Ties IE 10 To Win 8
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's same-as-it-ever-was department:
deadeyefred writes "With the last vestiges of Microsoft's U.S. antitrust consent decree expiring earlier this year, the company is again tying its browser tightly to Windows. In pre-release versions of IE 10 and Windows 8, IE 10 cannot be uninstalled and is required to enable the new 'Metro'-style apps."

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PROTECT IP Renamed To the E-PARASITE Act
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-rose-by-any-other-name department:
bs0d3 writes "The U.S. House has drafted their version of Protect IP today. They have renamed the bill to "the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act" or the E-PARASITE Act. The new house version of Protect IP is far worse than the Senate bill s.968 and it massively expands the sites that will be covered by the law. While the Senate bill limited its focus to sites that were "dedicated to infringing activities", the house bill targets "foreign infringing sites" and "has only limited purpose or use other than infringement". They're also including an "inducement" claim, any foreign site declared by the Attorney General to be "inducing" infringement, can now be censored by the US. With no adversarial hearing. The bill can be read here."

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Official "Firefox With Bing" Released
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's looking-with-new-eyes department:
MrSeb writes "Mozilla is now distributing a version of Firefox that uses Bing as the default search provider instead of Google. Rest assured that this is a joint project, though: the creatively-named Firefox with Bing website is run by Microsoft, and both Mozilla and MS are clear that this is a joint venture. Now, don't get too excited — the default version of Firefox available from Mozilla.com is still backed by Google, and there's no mention of an alternative, Bingy download anywhere on the site — but it's worth noting that Mozilla has been testing Bing's capabilities using Test Pilot over the last couple of months, and the release of Firefox with Bing indicates that Mozilla is now confident in Bing's ability to provide a top-notch service to Firefox users. Mozilla might be readying a large-scale switch to Bing when its current contract with Google expires in November."

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Book Review: Drupal 7 Themes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
Michael J. Ross writes "If you need a theme for a web site based on Drupal 7, then you have a few options for obtaining one. You could go with an existing theme, but the current crop of prebuilt themes is even more limited for Drupal 7 than its predecessor. You could hire a dedicated Drupal themer to create one for you. Or, to avoid the expense, you could try to build your own. In that case, you will need to get up to speed on the changes in the Drupal presentation layer. Unfortunately, most of the Drupal 7 books devote only one or two chapters to the topic. Several Drupal training firms offer video instruction, but the bulk of their material is still geared to version 6, or even 5. The online documentation is of little help. Yet there is a book that is wholly dedicated to the topic: Drupal 7 Themes, authored by Ric Shreves." Read on for the rest of Michael's review. Drupal 7 Themes
author Ric Shreves
pages 320 pages
publisher Packt Publishing
rating 7/10
reviewer Michael J. Ross
ISBN 978-1849512763
summary A guide on how to work with and create themes in Drupal 7.

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Samsung's Solar-Powered Internet School
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bright-ideas department:
An anonymous reader writes "Samsung has developed a solar-powered internet school for Africa. Although its more of a CSR initiative to show how 'responsible' they are, the idea is really good. Hopefully, more companies will chime in the near future, and not only include Africa but also other 3rd world regions"

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China Detains Internet Users For Spreading Rumors
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-heard-you-like-jail department:
alphadogg writes "Chinese authorities have started to detain Internet users for allegedly spreading online rumors, in its latest measure to control the country's social media sites. China's State Internet Information Office said it determined several online Internet rumors were fabricated, and instructed relevant departments to prosecute the offenders, according to a Tuesday report from China's state-run press agency Xinhua. The so-called rumors include a case where a user spread alleged misinformation about income tax provisions by forging state documents. The user was detained for 15 days. In another case, a Chinese college student from the province of Yunnan was detained after spreading what the government called a rumor on blogs and forums, about an incident where a man killed eight officials in his village. The 'rumor' had said the man killed the officials because of pollution generated from a cement factory."

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Amazon Patents Gift Card Parental Controls
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's with-strings-atached department:
theodp writes "On Tuesday, Amazon received a patent on 'Customizing Gift Instrument Experiences for Recipients', which allows a gift card giver to not only recommend items via the gift card but also to restrict the types of things the card can be used to buy — and to get a report back on what the recipient purchases. From the patent: 'The rules could also specify that the available media be constrained by a rating, such as a parental rating (e.g. G, PG, PG-13, R, etc.) or media that excludes explicit lyrics or language. In other examples, the gift instrument purchaser directs that the gift instrument can only be redeemed for books (e.g., not video games), books of a selected genre (e.g., romance, action, historical, etc.), books having a selected author, etc.'"

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RIM PlayBook Email App Nowhere In Sight
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hits-keep-coming department:
judgecorp writes "RIM has delayed the 2.0 release of its tablet's Playbook OS until 2012, and admitted it won't have the BlackBerry email app. PlayBook users will only be able to do BlackBerry email on their tablets by linking with a BlackBerry phone, for the foreseeable future."

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New York State Releases Sex Offender Facebook App
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 11:46 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's zynga-game-coming-soon department:
Just in time for Halloween, the New York state Division of Criminal Justice Services launched a Facebook application to help families know which houses contain sexual offenders. “Knowledge is power. New Yorkers now have another way to access up-to-date information about sex offenders in their neighborhoods,” DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said in a release. “With Halloween around the corner, parents now have another tool to learn where offenders live so they can ensure their children stay away from those locations, as well as strangers’ homes. The Facebook app puts that important information at parents’ fingertips, whether they are at home or on the go.”

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Your Tech Skills Have a Two Year Half-Life
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's use-it-or-lose-it department:
itwbennett writes "Eric Bloom, an IT leadership coach and former CIO, has answered that eternal question 'does working on old software hurt your professional marketability' with a somewhat surprising 'no.' But, Bloom adds, 'a techie's skill set from a marketability perspective has a two year half-life. That is to say, that the exact set of skills you have today will only be half as marketable two years from now.'"

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Americas New CIO Wants To Disrupt Government and Make It a Startup
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's clean-slate department:
An anonymous reader writes "America's new CIO Steven VanRoekel wants to revamp the federal government and make it as agile as a startup. But first he has to get rid of bugs like the Department of Agriculture's 21 different e-mail systems. From the article: '“Too often, we have built closed, monolithic projects that are outdated or no longer needed by the time they launch,” he said. As an example, he mentioned the Defense Department’s human resources management system. Dubbed the “Defense Integrated Military Human Resource System,” the project was meant to take seven years to develop. Instead, it took 10, cost $850 million and had to be scrapped after 10 years of development in 2010 because it ended up being useless.'"

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"Holographic" Desk Allows Interaction With Virtual Objects
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's touch-away department:
Zibodiz writes "The Sensors and Devices group at Microsoft Research has developed a new system called HoloDesk that allows users to pick up, move and even shoot virtual 3D objects.
It's about the size of a filing cabinet and is made up of an overhead screen that projects a 2D image through a half-silvered beam splitter into a viewing area beneath. A Kinect camera keeps tabs on a user's hand position within the 3D virtual environment, a webcam tracks the user's face to help with placement accuracy, and custom algorithms bring everything together in (something very close to) real time."


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Expert: Duqu Is a Custom Attack Framework
Posted by News Fetcher on October 26 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's kremlin-denies-involvement department:
Trailrunner7 writes "All of the hype about Duqu being the next Stuxnet obscured many of the real facts about the new malware. It turns out that Duqu not only is essentially a customizable attack framework with separate modules for each target, but that it has been found on high-value networks in Iran and the Sudan. A detailed analysis of the Duqu malware files by Alex Gostev of Kaspersky Lab shows that the malware uses different drivers and modules for every target. 'It is obvious that every single Duqu incident is unique with its own unique files using different names and checksums. Duqu is used for targeted attacks with carefully selected victims,' Gostev said."

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