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MABEL Robot Runs Like a Human
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 01:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-wanna-run-like-you-hoo-hoo department:
MrSeb writes "Researchers at the University of Michigan have created a running, obstacle-scaling robot. This robot, which is called MABEL (not an acronym), is capable of running at speeds of up to 3.06 meters per second, or 6.8 mph. Physically she is very similar to a human — a heavy torso, and light, springed legs that act as load balancers and shock absorbers — and with a clever feedback system, MABEL even runs like a human, spending 40% of her time three or four inches off the ground."

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Notch Asks For Trial By Combat
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 01:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-all-trademark-claims-should-be-settled department:
Vrallis writes "As reported recently, Mojang AB, the creators of Minecraft, have been sued by Bethesda over the name of their latest project, Scrolls, citing a trademark infringement with their Elder Scrolls games. In his latest blog post, Notch, the founder of Mojang, has challenged Bethesda to a trial by combat. Specifically, a frag match in Quake 3."

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Interview With GNOME 3 Designer Jon McCann
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's point-and-counterpoint department:
An anonymous reader writes "In an extensive interview, GNOME 3 designer Jon McCann talks about the future of GNOME 3 — why it's all about the apps and why he is convinced that KDE and Ubuntu are actually different operating systems. He also reacts to the outspoken criticism against GNOME 3, which has been making the rounds lately."

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Accused Teen Bomber Finds FBI Surveillance Team's Wireless Network
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-need-better-names department:
roccomaglio writes "The suspect who is accused of planning to bomb his high school in Tampa updated his Facebook status with the following: 'The weirdest thing happened today...when my homie Nic Peezy was trying to connect to a wireless network the connections list came up and one of them was called: FBI_SURVEILLANCE_VAN,' The FBI might want to revisit their wireless network naming conventions."

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27,000 South Koreans Sue Apple
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 12:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-bad-apple department:
jfruhlinger writes "You may have already forgotten the iPhone location-tracking furor, but 27,000 South Koreans haven't! They (or the lawyers recruiting them) have launched a class action suit against Apple due to the 'emotional distress' suffered. The litigants are seeking around $1,000 apiece in damages. From the article: 'Apple has faced complaints and criticisms since it said in April that its iPhones were storing locations of nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots for up to a year. Such data can be used to create a rough map of the device owner's movements.'"

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Rage and the Tech Behind id Tech 5
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's next-gen-rocket-launchers department:
MojoKid writes "id Software's long-awaited FPS, Rage, is set to ship in October. When it launches, Rage will be the first game to feature id's newest graphics engine, dubbed id Tech 5. id Tech 5 has evolved considerably since the company started talking about it four years ago, however. While it contains a number of additional features, MegaTexturing remains one of the game's most visible advances. MegaTexturing uses a single large texture to map the terrain of an entire area. Data from that texture is streamed in depending on where the player is standing and what's visible. Effects that would normally be blended in traditional tiled texturing can be baked into the megatexture and streamed off disc when needed. The advantage of megatexturing is that it allows artists to create unique environments rather than resorting to a variety of tricks to hide repetitive texture tiles."
id's Tim Willits spoke with Eurogamer about Rage's development, explaining how their goal of fast-paced action dictated certain design decisions. Rage will make use of Steamworks, but won't require a persistent connection for offline play. However, small parts of optional single-player content will only be available to players who buy the game new. Willits said, "Most people never find them. But as soon as you do, you're like, oh. And then you start to look for it. That's our first-time buyer incentive."

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LinuxCon 2011 Keynotes Streamed Free
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's from-the-comfort-of-your-own-home department:
DeviceGuru writes "All keynote sessions from the LinuxCon North America 2011 conference held in Vancouver this week are being made available for free public streaming today through Friday (August 17-19). One noteworthy highlight: today's 4:45 pm (pdt) keynote will feature Greg Kroah-Hartman in conversation with Linus Torvalds. Viewing the streams requires free registration."

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Malicious Spam Spikes To 'Epic' Level
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's whack-a-mole department:
Trailrunner7 writes "There has been a huge spike in spam volume in the last few days, including a massive amount of malicious spam with infected attachments, and researchers say that levels of junk mail are now far higher than they were before the takedown of the notorious Spamit affiliate program last fall. The huge spike comes at a time when spam should, in fact, be dropping because of the takedown of the Rustock botnet, the Spamit network and other botnets. 'From the beginning of August, we have observed a huge surge of malicious spam which far exceeds anything we have seen over the past two years, including prior to the SpamIt takedown last October. The majority of the malicious spam comes from the Cutwail botnet, although Festi and Asprox are among the other contributors,' M86 researcher Rodel Mendrez said."

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Facebook Says That Google+ Has No Users
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's pew-pew-no-you-are-dumb department:
dkd903 noticed another amusing shot in the battle between G+ and Facebook. CNN is running a story where Facebook's director of game partnership Sean Ryan basically says Google+ has no users. The article is mostly about casual gaming on social platforms, which I am really sick of individually blocking.

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NASA Shoots Down Comet Elenin Doomsday Predictions
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 08:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's phew-i-was-worried department:
coondoggie writes "The comet Elenin, which will pass by Earth October 16, has generated such an inordinate amount of doomsday reports from a number of different sources that NASA today issued a release meant to address a variety of them. To address the myriad concerns, NASA said its scientists compiled a list of the most popular questions it has received about Elenin."

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Hackers Get Their Own Scoreboard and Rankings
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's and-the-winner-is department:
wiredmikey writes "Sometimes hacking is about money; other times, it's about competition, and when that happens, it is also about getting a little credit. Enter RankMyHack.com. The site is described as the world's 'first elite hacker ranking system,' and invites people to submit proof of their Website hacks in exchange for points — the higher the points, the higher the place on the leader board. In order to get ranked, hackers need to prove they have indeed hacked a site – by inserting a predetermined text into the hacked site page. Rankmyhack then scans for the text in the page and gives score based on how popular the website is, with lower points awarded for XSS attacks. Assuming the site is real – and early reports indicate that it is – hackers can now see where their hacks stack up against those of their peers. Will this morph into a playground for hacktivists to hone their skills?"

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How To Steal ATM PINs With a Thermal Camera
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 07:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-see-what-you-did-there department:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from UCSD have demonstrated how thermal imagery cameras can be used to
steal customers' PINs (PDF) when you withdraw cash from ATMs. Their paper, entitled 'Heat of the Moment: Characterizing the Efficacy of Thermal Camera-Based Attacks', (PDF) discovered that plastic PIN pads were the best for retaining heat signatures showing which numbers (and in which order) were used by bank customers. Fortunately the methodology does not appear to have been used by criminals yet, but a third of people surveyed admit that they do not check ATMs for tampering before withdrawing cash."


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Paul Ceglia: Facebook Is Doing the Forgery, Not Me
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's bored-now department:
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, Facebook said it found the original 'authentic contract' between Mark Zuckerberg and Paul Ceglia, a man that claims he owns half of the company over a 2003 contract. Now, Ceglia says the original 'authentic contract' Facebook says it found is really just a Photoshopped image the company planted on his computer."

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USPTO Issues 8,000,000th Patent
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's congratulations-i-think department:
toybuilder writes "It took nearly 80 years for the first 1 million patents to issue in the U.S. On Tuesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued its eighth-million patent. This most recent 1 million patents took only about 5 years."

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GPGPU Bitcoin Mining Trojan
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 05:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's now-thats-not-so-bad department:
An anonymous reader writes "Security researchers have unearthed a piece of malware that mints a digital currency known as Bitcoins by harnessing the immense power of an infected machine's graphical processing units. According to new research from antivirus provider Symantec, Trojan.Badminer uses GPUs to generate virtual coins through a practice known as minting. That's the term for solving difficult cryptographic proof-of-work problems and being rewarded with 50 Bitcoins for each per correct block."

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Collar-Bomber Tracked By Gmail Accesses
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's crimes-that-would-have-worked-better-in-the-80s department:
RockDoctor writes "Reports indicate that a suspect has been arrested in the Australian 'collar bomb' hostage/extortion case. The allegation is that the suspect had set up a Gmail account, through which he (allegedly) planned to communicate with the extortion victims and arrange delivery of the payment. Unfortunately for him, records were kept showing the location and time the account was set up, and also for a number of accesses. This information, combined with 'CCTV footage and motor vehicle records,' allowed the police to put an identity to the suspect, and arrange for his arrest. So, if you're planning an extortion scheme, don't drive your car to the internet cafe, don't set up the account from an airport, wear anonymous clothes (like Jason Bourne does?) and do all your accesses through hacked shell accounts somewhere in Outer Mongolia. But, this being Slashdot, everyone knew that already."

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Fired Techie Created Virtual Chaos At Pharma Co.
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 01:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no-printers-were-harmed department:
itwbennett writes "Using a secret vSphere console, Jason Cornish, formerly an IT staffer at the U.S. subsidiary of drug-maker Shionogi, wiped out most of the company's computer infrastructure earlier this year. Cornish, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday to computer intrusion charges in connection with the attack."

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World of Warcraft Finally Loses Subscribers
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '11 at 12:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's infinite-growth-apparently-unsustainable department:
bonch writes "After seven years and a highpoint of 12 million subscribers, World of Warcraft has seen a loss of nearly one million subscribers in the last six months for the first time in its history, according to Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime during an Activision earnings call. However, the game remains the most popular MMO, and Morhaime said Blizzard plans to reverse the trend with fresh content. Some believe that the loss in subscriber interest is a sign of the game's inevitable twilight years. Blizzard also recently received a trademark for 'Mists of Pandaria,' fueling speculation about the next expansion pack."

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$80 Android Phone Sells Like Hotcakes In Kenya
Posted by News Fetcher on August 16 '11 at 11:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-quite-as-tasty department:
kkleiner writes "Earlier this year, the Chinese firm Huawei unveiled IDEOS through Kenya's telecom titan, Safaricom. So far, this $80 smartphone has found its way into the hands of 350,000+ Kenyans, an impressive sales number in a country where 40% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. The smartphone is the exemplar of a truly liberating device, and thanks to Android and Huawei, it has the potential to reach virtually untapped markets."

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Australian 'Electronic Pigeon Hole' Could Replace Gov't Snail Mail
Posted by News Fetcher on August 16 '11 at 09:31 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's arrives-through-a-series-of-tubes department:
angry tapir writes "Australia's federal Opposition will look to create a national government-funded 'electronic pigeon hole' for all Australians in an effort to cut the costs of 'snail mail' communication, if they are returned to power at the next election. According to Opposition communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, the pigeon hole would effectively act as a life-long single source of storage for communications between each citizen and government. The service would be free for Australians in exchange for their agreeing to no longer receiver paper-based communications from government agencies and other related organizations."

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