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Virginia Rometty Selected As Next CEO of IBM
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's driving-big-blue department:
itwbennett writes "IBM will start the new year with a new CEO. Virginia (Ginni) Rometty, who built up IBM Global Services, will be the company's first female CEO."

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10 Years of Windows XP
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's time-to-defenestrate-it department:
Julie188 writes "Windows XP – the XP stood for 'Experience' — was released October 25, 2001. With Windows XP, Microsoft hoped to have one codebase that would span everything from consumers to corporate desktops. Microsoft was fairly ambitious with XP. There was an embedded version that went everywhere, from phones to information kiosks. Banks in particular embraced it as a way to migrate off IBM's dead-end-but-once-great OS/2. Consumers have been quicker to ditch XP for Windows 7 while businesses hem and haw and slowly test a decade's-worth of custom apps on Windows 7. Some estimates show that XP still has a hold on 48% of the Windows market."

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DNA May Carry a Memory of Your Living Conditions From Childhood
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's your-past-is-part-of-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "Canadian and British scientists have found that how rich your family was when you were a kid — as judged by wealth, housing conditions and occupation of parents — has a huge impact on your current DNA. 'This is the first time we've been able to make the link between the economics of early life and the biochemistry of DNA,' says Moshe Szyf, professor of pharmacology at McGill University. The study did not show whether the DNA changes identified are passed on to offspring, but if so, repeat cycles of poverty could be putting poor children at a serious disadvantage for heart disease, diabetes and lung disorders."

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Mastercard, Visa To Help Target Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's you-are-the-product-being-sold department:
New submitter ThatsMyNick writes "The two largest credit-card networks, Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., are pushing into a new business: using what they know about people's credit-card purchases for targeting them with ads online. 'A MasterCard document obtained by the Journal outlines some of the company's plans, which included linking Web users with purchases. According to document, the credit card provider said it believes "you are what you buy." ... Visa is planning a similar service, which would aggregate its customers' purchase history into segments, including location, to make ads more effective at appealing to people in a respective area.'"

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Robot Walks Like a Human, Requires No Power
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it-will-chase-you-in-your-nightmares department:
MrSeb writes "Today's groundbreaking entry into the Uncanny Valley is a pair of mechanical, robot legs that are propelled entirely by their own weight: they can walk with a human-like gait without motors or external control. Produced by some researchers at Nagoya Institute of Technology in Japan, all the legs require for sustained motion (they walked 100,000 steps, 15km, over 13 hours last year) is a gentle push and a slight downwards slope. They then use same 'principle of falling' that governs human walking, with the transfer of weight (and the slight pull of gravity), pulling the robot into consecutive steps."

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Mystery of an Ancient Super Nova Solved
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 12:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it-was-his-sled department:
Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC is reporting that the mystery of a supernova seen almost 2000 years ago has been solved. The supernova RCW 86 was observed in 185AD by Chinese astronomers and was visible for eight months. Recently scientists have wondered how the supernova grew so big. By combining data from the Chandra X-ray telescope and the XMM-Newton Observatory with recent images from NASA's Spitzer and Wide-field Infrared Survey telescopes, scientists have figured out that the supernova expanded into a relatively empty bubble of space. These empty bubbles of space are typically associated with a core collapse supernova, but the core remnant is high in iron, which instead is associated with a type 1A supernova. The findings are published in The Astrophysical Journal."

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FTC To Monitor Google's Privacy Practices For 20 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's settling-in-for-a-long-stakeout department:
Rambo Tribble writes "As reported in TPM, the Federal Trade Commission has reached an agreement (PDF) with Google that will include the agency monitoring the company's privacy practices for the next 20 years. Whither, Facebook?"
Oddly enough, another article details a surge in government requests for user information from Google. In a blog post, the company explained that they wanted to provide more transparency with regard to government requests, and have updated their Government Requests tool to do so.

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The Real Job Threat
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's semi-intelligent-potatoes department:
NicknamesAreStupid writes "The NYTimes reports on a book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew P. McAfee (MIT director-level staffers), Race Against the Machine, which suggests that the true threat to jobs is not outsourcing — it's the machine! Imagine the Terminator flipping burgers, cleaning your house, approving your loan, handling your IT questions, and doing your job faster, better, and more cheaply. Now that's an apocalypse with a twist — The Job Terminator."
Reader wjousts points out another of the authors' arguments: that IT advances have cost more jobs than they've created.

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US's Most Powerful Nuclear Bomb Being Dismantled
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's swords-to-nuclear-plowshares department:
SpuriousLogic sends this excerpt from an AP report:
"The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs — a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War. The final components of the B53 bomb will be broken down Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. ... The weapon is considered dismantled when the roughly 300 pounds of high explosives inside are separated from the special nuclear material, known as the pit. The uranium pits from bombs dismantled at Pantex will be stored on an interim basis at the plant, Cunningham said. The material and components are then processed, which includes sanitizing, recycling and disposal, the National Nuclear Security Administration said last fall when it announced the Texas plant's role in the B53 dismantling."

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HPV Vaccine Recommended For Boys
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pushed-by-big-pharma-and-not-a-cure-all department:
necro81 writes "An advisory committee to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon issue new recommendations that pre-adolescent boys be vaccinated against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The disease is sexually transmitted, endemic in the sexually active, can cause genital warts in both men and women, and is the primary cause of cervical cancer, which kills hundreds of thousands of women globally each year. The three-dose vaccination has been available for several years and is already recommended for pre-adolescent girls. Vaccinating boys should further reduce transmission."

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Strange Video of Dancing Cloud Explained By Electric Discharge
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's because-clouds-do-not-have-hormones department:
The Bad Astronomer writes "A few months ago I was sent a really weird video showing a cloud snapping around suddenly, far faster than wind could explain. I asked a meteorologist about it, who told me it was due to ice crystals re-aligning when the cloud's electric field discharged. It's pretty amazing to watch, and a great example of how many cool things happen right in front of us that we never notice."

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Concerns Over Google Modifying SSL Behavior
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hey-fellas-this-just-looks-bad department:
Lauren Weinstein writes "Google is handling SSL search queries on https://www.google.com/ in a manner significantly different than the standard, expected SSL end-to-end behavior — specifically relating to referer query data. These changes give the potential appearance of favoring sites that buy ads from Google. Regardless of the actual intentions, I do not believe that this appearance is in the best interests of Google in the long run."

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Rosette Wins Loebner Prize 2011
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's wait-till-the-credit-card-scammers-start-using-it department:
mikejuk writes "Bruce Wilcox won the First Prize of $4000 and the Bronze Annual Medal in the 21st Loebner Prize Competition held in the UK at the University of Exeter on October 19, 2011 with his new chatbot, Rosette. If you would like to chat to Rosette you can at TellTaleGames. If you have been following the run up to this year's competition you may be surprised at how poorly CleverBot performed given its track record. This chatbot, which searches through earlier conversations for its answers, had received a score of 59.3% in a test that took place in India in September in which humans were rated 63.3%, only 4 percentage points higher and was also featured in a video that went viral. However its developer entered a cutdown version of CleverBot into the Loebner prize selection round and it didn't get the chance to show off its prowess in the final. So we will have to wait for another year to see if it really is as good as it claims." Depending on your bent, you may agree with Unknown Lamer that this sounds less impressive when phrased as "fooling a person ~18 percent of the time." I think that's a pretty high number, myself!

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Vint Cerf Answers Your Questions About IPv6 and More
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tell-us-more-about-your-beard department:
Last week, you asked questions of "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf; read on below for Cerf's thoughts on the present and future of IPv6, standards and nomenclature, the origin of his beard, and more. Thanks, Vint!

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Copiale Cipher Decoded
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's impossible-things-before-breakfast department:
eldavojohn writes "The 18th century Copiale Cipher has finally been decoded after a few minor breakthroughs were made by linguists versed in machine translation analyzing the document. From the article, 'Kevin Knight, a computer scientist at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California, collaborated with Beata Megyesi and Christiane Schaefer of Uppsala University in Sweden to decipher the first 16 pages. They turn out to be a detailed description of a ritual from a secret society that apparently had a fascination with eye surgery and ophthalmology.' The Roman characters and abstract symbols turned out to be a sort of encryption of the German language. The important clues they discovered were that the Roman characters were nulls (misleading junk) and the bogus looking symbols the actual text. Lastly, a colon would mean a duplication of the last consonant. A cipher falls to word-frequency analysis. Perhaps the researchers could start another 'weekend project' and tackle The Voynich Manuscript for us?"

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Ask Slashdot: DD-WRT Upgrade To 802.11n?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's bending-over-backwards-for-flexibility department:
First time accepted submitter krinderlin writes "My home network consists of a Linksys WRT54GL for WAN access and a WRT54G version 8 for a wireless bridge for my Blu-Ray and old XBox 360*. Due to a recent move and coaxial jack placements, I can't run Ethernet to the office, so I'm now looking at about 8 wireless clients at any given time. I'd like to start piecing together a network upgrade to 802.11n, but want to keep the flexibility and power of DD-WRT. So what 802.11n routers do you have with DD-WRT? What would you recommend for PCIe x1 and USB adapters? *Because $100 for a 802.11g adapter is pure insanity."

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Jaguar Recalls 18,000 Cars Over Major Software Fault
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-your-tatas-in-working-order department:
DMandPenfold writes with this excerpt from ComputerWorld UK "Jaguar has recalled nearly 18,000 X-type cars after it discovered a major software fault, which meant drivers might not be able to turn off cruise control. The problem lies with engine management control software developed in-house by Jaguar. The problematic software is only installed on diesel engine X-Types, which were all produced between 2006 and 2010. Some 17,678 vehicles have been recalled, as a result of the potentially dangerous problem. If the fault occurs, cruise control can only be disabled by turning of the ignition while driving — which would mean a loss of some control and in many cars also disables power steering. Braking or pressing the cancel button will not work. 'Jaguar has identified that should an error with certain interfacing systems be detected the cruise control system will be disabled and an error message displayed to the driver on the instrument cluster,' the company said in a statement."

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Nationwide Test of the Emergency Broadcast System
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's my-tin-foil-hat-is-already-melting department:
First time accepted submitter PattonPending writes "Mark your calendars! On November 9th national communications will be disrupted for around 3 minutes during the first nationwide test of the emergency broadcast system. From the article: 'On November 9, at 2 PM EST, FEMA will transmit the EAS code for national level emergencies to Primary Entry Point (PEP) stations in the national level of the EAS. The PEP stations will then rebroadcast the alert to the general public in their broadcast vicinity, as well as to the next level of EAS Participants monitoring them. This should continue through all levels of the system, until the national alert has been distributed throughout the entire country.'"

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Epic Geomagnetic Storm Erupts
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's good-name-for-a-candy-bar department:
astroengine writes "On Monday, at around 2 p.m. ET, a coronal mass ejection (CME) slammed into the Earth's magnetosphere. For a short time (between 3:06 p.m and 3:11 p.m. ET), energetic solar wind particles penetrated as deep as geosynchronous orbit — home to hundreds of communication satellites. As a consequence, a geomagnetic storm is underway, generating bright aurorae across very low latitudes."

Adds reader dtmos, quoting from Spaceweather, which also has a beautiful photo gallery: "'The impact strongly compressed Earth's magnetic field, directly exposing geosynchronous satellites to solar wind plasma, and sparked an intense geomagnetic storm. As night fell over North America, auroras spilled across the Canadian border into the contiguous United States.' Aurora were seen as far south as Baileyton, Alabama."

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John McCarthy, Discoverer of Lisp, Has Passed Away
Posted by News Fetcher on October 25 '11 at 04:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lisp-proven-not-to-be-key-of-eternal-life department:
The first of a few submitters, szo sent in an early
report
that John McCarthy passed
early yesterday
. Paul Graham
(among others) confirmed: the news
was true
. And so, shortly after a fellow
founder
of countless language descendants, goes the founder of the Lisp
tree
at the age of 84.

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