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Internet Explorer Users Have Low Risk Intelligence
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 09:30 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lemmings-browsing-the-web department:
First time accepted submitter benne2011 writes "A hoax report earlier this year claimed that people who used Internet Explorer had a lower IQ than those using other browsers. Inspired by this bit of fun, Projection Point decided to carry out a real study comparing the risk intelligence (RQ) of people using different browsers. We found that Internet Explorer users performed worse than everyone else; they had lower RQ scores and were grossly overconfident."

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Quantum Dots Will Make Flexible Displays
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 07:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's quantum-ice-cream-of-the-future department:
judgecorp writes "Quantum dots are small semiconductors, whose properties are defined by their size and shape. British nanotechnology firm Nanoco has found they are ideal for displays, allowing the possibility of screens that can be rolled up — and which also use far less of the hazardous chemicals found in normal screens."

In addition to being Cadmium free (a problem in the EU where the exemption for Cadmium in displays expires in 2014), they directly emit light using less power than traditional filtered color LCDs.

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In Favor of Homegrown IT Solutions
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 05:45 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's insufficient-buzzword-compliance department:
snydeq writes "Today's IT organizations turn too readily to vendors, eschewing homegrown solutions to their detriment, writes Deep End's Paul Venezia. 'Back when IT was "simple," several good programmers and support staff could run the whole show. Nowadays, [companies] buy hefty support contracts and shift the burden of maintaining and troubleshooting large parts of their IT infrastructure on to the vendors who may know their own product well, but have a hard time dealing with issues that may crop up during integration with other vendors' gear. ... Relying solely on support contracts and generic solutions is a good way to self-limit the agility and performance of any business. In short, more gurus equals less hand-wringing and stress all around.'"

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Facebook Releases JIT PHP Compiler
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 05:00 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's history-repeats-itself department:
angry tapir writes, quoting a Techworld article: "In its continuing endeavor to serve its 800 million users as quickly as possible, Facebook is once again revamping the way it handles its PHP-based Web pages. Facebook has posted ... its HipHop Virtual Machine (HHVM), which the company's engineers call a just-in-time PHP compiler. According to Facebook, this PHP execution engine is 60 percent faster than its current PHP interpreter and uses 90 percent less memory."

Facebook has a weblog post with a more technical description.

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Isaac Newton's Notes Digitized
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 04:15 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's viacom-issues-dmca-takedown-notice department:
First time accepted submitter nhstar writes with an excerpt from an article in the Register: "If you're looking for a bit of light reading this holiday season, Cambridge University is here to help: they've digitized and made available online over 4,000 pages of the pioneering scientist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton's most important works. 'Anyone, wherever they are, can see at the click of a mouse how Newton worked and how he went about developing his theories and experiments,' Cambridge University Library's digitization manager Grant Young told the BBC."

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FBI Rejects Freedom of Information Act Request About Carrier IQ
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-jump-to-conclusions department:
bonch writes with news that website Muckrock recently sent a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI asking for "manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ." The Bureau has now responded with a rejection of the request, claiming an exemption applies because such documents "could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings." While many have been quick to assume the worst, the Muckrock article says it's unclear "whether the FBI used Carrier IQ's software to in its own investigations, whether it is currently investigating Carrier IQ, or whether it is some combination of both - not unlikely given the recent uproar over the practice coupled with the U.S. intelligence communities reliance on third-party vendors."

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Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's polarizing-issue department:
Many readers have submitted news of a week-old announcement from Wladimir Palant, creator of Adblock Plus, about a change to the addon that will allow unobtrusive ads to be displayed. The change has been controversial because most people who run the addon strongly dislike seeing any ads. Palant hastens to point out that this is a toggle-able option, and by changing one setting, users can resume ad-less website viewing. Many are upset, however, that the setting defaults to allowing the display of "acceptable" advertisements. The description of "acceptable" ads includes the following criteria: "Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar); Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images; At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)."

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Verizon Considering Purchase of Netflix
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shark-going-after-the-wounded-fish department:
schwit1 writes "Shares of Netflix soared more than 6% Monday on a report that Verizon Communications is considering buying the troubled movie renter. Verizon is reportedly evaluating whether a purchase of Netflix could provide an entry into the video delivery business, DealReporter said, citing a source close to the matter. The news comes as Netflix continues to struggle from a series of missteps earlier this year when it raised subscription prices and separated its DVD-by-mail service and streaming. Netflix's stock price plunged to a new 52-week low two weeks ago when the company warned it would fall to a loss in 2012 if it failed to boost its bruised customer base."

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Predator Drone Helps Nab Cattle Rustlers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cattle-rustlers-apparently-still-exist department:
riverat1 writes "KTLA reports police in North Dakota arrested three men accused of cattle rustling with the help of a Predator B drone from nearby Grand Forks AFB. The sheriff of Nelson Country was chased off by three armed men when he went to serve a warrant, so he came back the next morning with reinforcements, including the drone, which, while circling 2 miles overhead, was able to determine the whereabouts of the men on their 3,000 acre spread and the fact that they were unarmed. A SWAT team quickly moved in and apprehended the men. Local police say they have used the Predator drones for at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and DEA have used the drones for domestic investigations as well."

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Many Early Adopters of the Amazon Fire Are Unhappy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's compare-features-compare-price-points department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that the Kindle Fire, Amazon's heavily promoted tablet, is less than a blazing success, with many of its early users packing the device up and firing it back to the retailer. A few of their many complaints: there is no external volume control. The off switch is easy to hit by accident. Web pages take a long time to load. There is no privacy on the device; a spouse or child who picks it up will instantly know everything you have been doing and the touch screen is frequently hesitant and sometimes downright balky. Amazon's response was: 'In less than two weeks, we're rolling out an over-the-air update to Kindle Fire.' The only problem with that is many of the complaints are hardware related and no amount of software can fix one of the early blunders: 'The fire is shipped in a box that advertised on the outside of the box exactly what it is. "Hello, you, thief, please come steal me!"' wrote one would-be customer who, as you might guess, had her Fire stolen and was left with the box. This was supposed to be an iPad killer, with its much lower price point, but Apple is tough to beat because most of its mistakes are software-based."

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Tizen, webOS, & the Future of Mobile Open Source
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's distro-wars-coming-to-a-phone-near-you department:
jfruhlinger writes "When HP announced it would release webOS as open source, it added a competitor to a narrow niche: there's already Tizen, the descendant of MeeGo, which is, like webOS, an open source Linux-based operating system for smartphones. Can they co-exist, or will one come out on top? One built-in advantage for webOS is that already has hardware, in the form of all those $99 TouchPad's being snapped up on eBay."

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The Encyclopedia of Sci-fi Goes Live Online
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-things-easier-to-grok department:
arcite writes "After twenty years of hard work, the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction website has recently gone live. It's an online database containing thousands of entries for all things Sci-fi, and a great place to read all about your favourite authors, characters, themes, and everything else."

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Corporate Claims On Public Domain YouTube Videos
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's arrr-me-hearties department:
esocid writes "Corey Doctorow has written a Guardian column, 'The pirates of YouTube,' about how multinational copyright-holding companies have laid false claim to public domain videos on YouTube. The videos are posted by the nonprofit FedFlix organization, which liberates public domain government-produced videos and makes them available to the world. These videos were produced at public expense and no one can claim to own them, but multinationals from CBS to Discovery Communications have done just that, getting YouTube to place ads on the video that deliver income to their coffers. What's more, their false copyright claims could lead to the suspension of FedFlix's YouTube account under Google's rules for its copyright policing system. This system, ContentID, sets out penalties for 'repeat offenders' who generate too many copyright claims — but offers no corresponding penalties for rightsholders who make too many false claims of ownership."

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Windows 8 Store Will Allow Open Source Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's dogs-and-cats-living-together department:
MrSeb writes "Some interesting legalese found in the recent publication of the Windows Store Application Developer Agreement could signify a very big win for the open source community. The section in question states that apps released under a license from the Open Source Initiative (GPL, Apache, etc.) can be distributed in the Windows Store. Further, it says that the OSI license will trump the Microsoft Standard Application License Terms, namely the the restriction on sharing applications. As for the reasoning behind this big about-turn, it could be down to Microsoft trying to soften the blow of its Android patent litigation — or maybe Redmond is just trying to differentiate itself from Apple, which famously restricts open source-licensed apps from being sold in its iOS and Mac App Stores."

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Site Offers History of Torrent Downloads By IP
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's exposing-the-obvious department:
tsu doh nimh writes "You may have never heard of youhavedownloaded.com, but if you recently grabbed movies, music or software from online file-trading networks, chances are decent that the site has heard of you. In fact, you may find that the titles you downloaded are now listed and publicly searchable at the site, indexed by your Internet address. So far, youhavedownloaded.com has recorded more than 50 million unique Internet addresses belonging to file-sharing users. The site is searchable by file name and by Internet address. When you visit, it automatically checks and lets you know if your Internet address is in the database."

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Intel Revenue Dives $1bn On Hard Disk Shortage
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's disks-must-flow department:
nk497 writes "The hard disk shortage caused by the flooding in Thailand will cost Intel $1 billion in lost revenue, the company said. It had initially predicted revenue of $14.7bn this quarter, but that will now be $13.7bn, it said. 'Sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter,' Intel said. 'However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages.'"

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Two Lost Doctor Who Episodes Found
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forgot-them-in-the-tardis department:
First time accepted submitter crow writes "Two episodes of Doctor Who from the 1960s, thought to have been destroyed in the 1970s, have been found. Both were in the hands of a private collector who didn't know what he had. Like most episodes of the time, these were half-hour shows, part of a four-part story, and portions of both stories are still missing."

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Scientists Create World's Smallest Steam Engine
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-think-I-can-I-think-I-can department:
First time accepted submitter Virtucon writes "German physicists say they've built a heat engine measuring only a few micrometers across which works as well as a normal-sized version — although it sputters, they admit. Researchers at the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems say that the engine does basically work, meaning there's nothing, in principle, to prevent the construction of highly efficient, small heat engines."

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The Mexican Cartel's Hi-Tech Drug Tunnels
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's demand-based-technology department:
In the past 5 years more than 100 drug tunnels between Mexico and the U.S. have been discovered. This is double the number found over the previous 15 years. Not only are they growing in number, but the tunnels are becoming much more sophisticated including electric rail systems, hydraulic elevators, and secret entrances, one opened via a fake water tap. From the article: "When architect Felipe de Jesus Corona built Mexico's most powerful drug lord a 200-foot-long tunnel under the U.S.-Mexican border with a hydraulic lift entrance opened by a fake water tap, the kingpin was impressed. The architect 'made me one f---ing cool tunnel' Joaquin 'Shorty' Guzman said, according to court testimony that helped sentence Corona to 18 years in prison in 2006. Built below a pool table in his lawyer's home, the tunnel was among the first of an increasingly sophisticated drug transport system used by Guzman's Sinaloa cartel. U.S. customs agents seized more than 2,000 pounds of cocaine which had allegedly been smuggled along the underground route."

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Does Mega Media Control 90% of Content?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 12 '11 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's biggest-piece-of-the-pie department:
smitty777 writes "FastCo has an intriguing article on the vast control of our media by the mega corporations. In the article, Cliff Kuang disputes such claims by the the Fugal Dad that the revenue for the Big Six was over $275.9 billion, and that these companies are in cohorts to control our viewing. Just how much do these companies control?"

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