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The Nine Circles of IT Hell
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-then-on-again department:
snydeq writes "Dan Tynan takes us on a tour of the nine circles of IT hell, a place 'not unlike the underworld described by Dante in his Divine Comedy.' 'But here, in the data centers, conference rooms, and cubicles, the IT version of this inferno is no allegory. It is a very real test of every IT pro's sanity and soul,' Tynan writes. From IT limbo, to tech lust, to stakeholder gluttony, to tech-pro treachery, the IT inferno is not buried deep within the earth, it's just down the hall. 'Thankfully, as in Dante's poetic universe, there are ways to escape the nine circles of IT hell. But IT pros beware: You may have to face your own devils to do it. Shall we descend?'"

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Why Linux Is Good For Low-End Smartphones
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's i've-never-needed-more department:
jfruhlinger writes "Nokia's announcement that it was developing a Linux distro for low-end smartphones, shortly after abandoning the Linux-based Meego OS for Windows Phone 7, was a little puzzling. But it actually makes good business sense in the smartphone world. While WP7 aims for the high end, there's a market for cheaper and less complex phones that still beat boring old feature phones, especially in emerging economies. And, unlike Symbian and the heavily tweaked Meego, Linux can be quickly and cheaply brought to market as a low-end smartphone OS."

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UK To Get £50m Graphene Research Hub
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-experiments-begin department:
twoheadedboy writes "The UK Government has made a big commitment to the development of the 'wonder material' graphene, the most likely candidate to replace silicon in computing chips in the future. A £50 million Graphene Global Research and Technology Hub was announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. It is hoped the facility will help commercialize graphene. The University of Manchester, where the material was discovered, welcomed the announcement and will be one of the possible locations of the hub. Right now, universities will be getting ready to apply for their chance to host the graphene hub."

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HTC Android Backdoor Leaks Private User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's like-a-sieve department:
Trailrunner7 writes "There is a serious security issue with a variety of HTC Android phones that enables any app with Internet permissions to access a huge amount of private data on the device, including call logs, email addresses, SMS messages, last known GPS location and more. The problem was introduced via an update to the HTC phones that installed a tool called HTCLogger that collects the data."

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World's Most Powerful Telescope Begins Search For Origin of the Universe
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where-the-sidewalk-ends department:
MrSeb writes "The largest astronomical installation in the world is now operational. ALMA, or the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, is a vast radio telescope made out of 66 12- and 7-meter dish antennae situated 5,000m above sea level, in Chile. Its purpose is to seek out new life and new civilizations and to boldly go where no telescope has gone before. But no, seriously: its job is to peer into the past and investigate ancient stars and nebulae, peer at exoplanets that might support human (or alien) life, and hopefully learn more about interstellar creation and destruction. For now only 20 out of 66 antennae are in place, but when it is complete — late next year — it will have a resolving power far greater than Hubble, according to the European Space Observatory (ESO) that operates ALMA."

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Wiki Editor Helps Reveal Pre-9/11 CIA Mistakes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-non-denial-denials department:
An anonymous reader writes "Kevin Fenton was reading the Department of Justice's 2004 Inspector General report on pre-9/11 intelligence failures. Parts of it didn't make sense to him, so he decided to add the information in the report to Paul Thompson's 9/11 timeline at the wiki-style website History Commons. Eventually, Fenton's work led him to uncover the identity of a CIA manager who ran the Bin Ladin unit before 9/11, when agents there deliberately withheld information about two 9/11 hijackers from the FBI. That manager was named Richard Earl Blee and he is now the subject of a documentary by Ray Nowosielski and John Duffy, of secrecykills.org, who confirmed his identity using techniques right out of the 70s film All the President's Men. Blee, along with Cofer Black and George Tenet, have found the work disturbing enough to release a joint statement denying some of the allegations."

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Theater Professor's Firefly Poster Declared Threatening
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wait-until-they-find-out-about-reavers department:
ocean_soul writes "Probably because nothing more threatening was happening and they need to prove their usefulness the school police at University of Wisconsin-Stout decided a Firefly poster with the quote: "You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed," was a threat to the safety on campus. Wasn't that a quote about not killing people?"

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Facebook Adds Malicious Link Protection
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's click-away-grandma department:
wiredmikey writes "As any IT security department knows, social networks pose a significant a threat to users across the board as they blindly click links which often lead to spam or other malicious sites that could result in malware infection. In a move to further protect users of the world's largest social networking site, Facebook is adding a new feature to help protect users from links to these malicious sites. Starting today, when a Facebook user clicks on a link it will be checked against a database from Websense database to in an attempt to determine if the link is malicious. If the link is determined to be risky, the user will be given the choice to continue at their own risk, return to the previous screen, or get more information on why it was flagged as suspicious."

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3 Share Nobel Prize In Medine For Immune System Work
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's good-doctors department:
alphadogg writes "This year's Nobel Laureates have revolutionized our understanding of the immune system by discovering key principles for its activation. Scientists have long been searching for the gatekeepers of the immune response by which man and other animals defend themselves against attack by bacteria and other microorganisms. Bruce Beutler and Jules Hoffmann discovered receptor proteins that can recognize such microorganisms and activate innate immunity, the first step in the body's immune response. Ralph Steinman discovered the dendritic cells of the immune system and their unique capacity to activate and regulate adaptive immunity, the later stage of the immune response during which microorganisms are cleared from the body."

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Verizon Challenges FCC's Net Neutrality Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's lock-both-in-the-same-room department:
GovTechGuy writes "Verizon filed an appeal on Friday asking a federal court to strike down the FCC's net neutrality rules, which are scheduled to take effect on November 20. A federal judge tossed the FCC's previous attempt at enforcing net neutrality against Comcast last May, and more legal challenges are expected in the coming days."

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Amazon Disables 3G Web Browsing For New 3G Kindle Touch
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's subtle-nudge-toward-the-other-ones department:
destinyland writes "Amazon's going to disable 3G web browsing on their upcoming 'Kindle Touch 3G' — even though it was a prominent feature of the last generation of Kindles. Amazon will still allow web browsing on the Kindle Touch 3G using a local Wi-Fi connection, but it's one of many unsettling details emerging from Amazon's announcement last week. Apparently Amazon's cloud will now also include a list of personal documents that you're mailing to your Kindle. And the on-screen keyboard for Amazon's bargain $79 Kindles won't be a touchscreen keyboard, so users will have to nudge the controller repeatedly to gradually navigate from one key to the next."

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BerliOS Software Repository Will Close At Year's End
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 01:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's that's-too-bad department:
An anonymous reader writes with some sad news from Germany, as posted on the BerliOS front page, and sent by email to developers as well. An excerpt: "As an European, non-proprietary project BerliOS pursued the goal to support the various open-source players and provide a neutral mediator function. In 2011 over 4710 projects have been hosted on BerliOS, with 50,000 registered users and over 2.6 million file downloads each month. We are proud that with BerliOS we have brought the idea of an OSS repository to Europe. Meanwhile, the concept has prevailed and there are many good alternatives. Unfortunately, as a research institute Fraunhofer FOKUS has only few opportunities to operate a repository like BerliOS. Such a project will only work with a follow-up financing, or with sponsors or partners taking over the repository. In the field of OSS this is a difficult undertaking. In a recent survey the community indicated some support in funds and manpower which we would like to thank you for. Unfortunately, the result is not enough to put the project on a sustainable financial basis. In addition the search for sponsors or partners was unsuccessful. ... As a developer, you should export your BerliOS project into another repository." BerliOS is slated to close on December 31st.

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Australia Reviews Tier-Two Software Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 11:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's gee-fellas-this-might-be-worth-rethinking department:
An anonymous reader writes "Australia may consider excluding software from its second-tier patent system to better align the system with those of trading partners like Japan and Korea. A Government review has raised concerns that it may be difficult to justify Australia's low requirements for software innovation patents. The public consultation period for the review closes on 14 October."

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Mass Piracy Lawsuits Come To Australia
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's america-exports-quite-a-bit-of-some-things department:
daria42 writes "Remember when the RIAA started sending tens of thousands of letters to Americans who it had alleged had infringed copyright online, trying to get them all to settle out of court? Yeah, good times. Well that style of mass-lawsuit has now arrived in Australia, courtesy of a new company which dubs itself the 'Movie Rights Group.' The company is currently seeking to obtain details of at least 9,000 Australians it alleges has infringed copyright on one film, and it has a number of other films in the pipeline. Sounds like a good time to know an IP lawyer."

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Children Helped Decorate Prehistoric Caves of France
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 05:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's could've-been-circus-folk department:
sciencehabit writes "Among the prolific paintings and other art in the 8 kilometer-long Rouffignac cave system in southwestern France are a number of unusual markings known as finger flutings, which are made by people dragging their hands through the soft silt that lines the cave's walls. By analyzing the finger flutings of modern humans, researchers discovered that the ratio of the distance between the three middle fingers indicate that many of the cave artists were very young children, one as young as 2 or 3 years old. The researchers were also able to tell the children's genders from the shape of the fingers."

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Tom's Hardware Pits Newest Firefox, Opera and Chrome Against Each Other
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's do-the-windows-numbers-hold-for-linux? department:
An anonymous reader writes "Firefox 7 was released a couple days ago, and now the latest Web browser performance numbers are in. This article is the same series that ran benchmarks on Mac OS X Lion last month. This time around the new Mozilla release is going against Chrome 14 and Opera 11.51 in 40+ different tests on Windows 7. Testing comes from every category of Web browsing performance I can think of: startup time, page load time, JS, CSS, DOM, HTML5, Flash, hardware acceleration, WebGL, Java, Silverlight, reliable page loads, memory usage/management, and standards conformance. The article also has a little feature on the Futuremark Peacekeeper browser benchmark. An open beta of the next revision has just been made public. This new version adds HTML5, video codecs, and WebGL tests to the benchmark. It's also designed to run on any browser/OS/device combination — e.g. Windows desktop, iPad, Droid 2, MacBook, Linux flavors, etc. Another great read, a must for Web browser fanatics!"

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World Solar Challenge 2011 Starts In Two Weeks
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's aussies-know-transportation department:
First time accepted submitter SustainableJeroen writes "In less than two weeks the bi-annual World Solar Challenge will start. Around forty teams, mostly made up of university students from around the globe, will battle each other for first place in the de facto world championship of solar car racing. The teams will race each other on the 3000km Stuart highway between Darwin and Adelaide, while dodging road trains, dust devils and kangaroos. The fastest teams will cover this distance in four to five days, while it is by no means certain that all teams will make it to the finish line. In 2009, the Tokai University team from Japan unexpectedly took first place in this high-tech brain sport, with four-time winner Nuon Solar Team having to settle for second place. Who will win this edition? There are a number of very strong contenders, but as the differences among the top teams and their cars are very, very small it's impossible to say in advance."

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Tesla Model S: 0-60 In 4.5 Seconds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's mind-the-headwinds department:
thecarchik writes "We already know a lot about the all-electric 2012 Tesla Model S sedan — but at a press event ahead of tonight's exclusive VIP event at the former Toyota NUMMI facility in Fremont, California, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Tesla was making a faster Model S for those with a sporty side. Cutting the brisk 0-60 time of the standard Model S from 5.6 second to under 4.5 seconds, the sportier version features the same 85 kilowatt-hour, 300 miles-per-charge battery pack found in the 2012 Model S Signature series. 'That's quicker than a [Porsche] 911 [Carrera],' joked Musk. 'Not bad for an electric luxury sedan.' But if you thought 300 miles was the maximum range a Tesla Model S could do, you'd be wrong."

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Privacy Groups Ask FTC For Facebook Investigation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's dear-mark-letter department:
An anonymous reader writes "10 public-interest groups have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook's various business practices. This demand comes right after two similar ones this week: two U.S. congressmen asked the FTC to investigate how Facebook's cookies behave, and Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner has agreed to conduct a privacy audit of Facebook. Given that the social network's international headquarters is in Dublin, the latter is the more serious one as the large majority of the site's users could be affected."

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Ask Slashdot: How to Exploit Post-Cataract Ultraviolet Vision?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 02 '11 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-not-ultraviolent department:
xmas2003 writes "I recently had cataract surgery with a Crystalens implant. With my cloudy yellowing (UV-filtering) natural lens removed, I see the world in a new light (more on that in a moment) as everything is brighter and colors are more vivid ... plus in focus.
As a typical Slashdot reader, I've been myopic since childhood, so it's wonderful not to have to wear glasses/contacts for distance. One interesting oddity is that I can now see ultraviolet light — it seems that there are a few people who have photoreceptors sensitive below 400nm into the UV spectrum. I've done some testing with a Black Light and UV filter to confirm this but would love to do more conclusive testing such as using a Monochromator — anyone in the Boulder, Colorado area have access to one? And any suggestions from Slashdot readers on how I can further explore this phenomenon? While I can't see dead people, I guess I have a 'superpower' ... although I'm not sure a middle-aged suburbanite dad should don purple tights and cape to become a crime-fighter!"


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