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Netflix Expects To Be Unprofitable In 2012
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '11 at 07:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's running-red-branding-exercise department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes with an article in CNN Money about Netflix's prospects in 2012. From the article: "Netflix warned in its last earnings report that it expects to be unprofitable 'for a few quarters' starting at the beginning of 2012. The primary culprit is Netflix's pricey plan to expand its streaming video service into the United Kingdom and Ireland, but a wave of subscribers jumping ship hasn't helped. The filing also revealed that Netflix is in the process of raising $400 million from investors to help bulk up its cash stash. While that will give Netflix more money to invest in content, secondary offerings are sometimes considered ominous signs."

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US Government Probes Huawei and ZTE On Spying Char
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's dsm-v-to-add-congressional-service-to-axis-ii department:
judgecorp writes "Two leading Chinese telecoms companies, Huawei and ZTE, are under investigation for possible spying in the U.S. A government committee says the companies may be stealing U.S. economic secrets, and use of their equipment might open U.S. infrastructure to espionage."

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HP's Strange Obsession With WebOS For Printers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '11 at 06:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's watch-movies-on-your-laserjet department:
ryzvonusef writes "VentureBeat's (typically unnamed) sources identifies Intel and Qualcomm as being involved in talks for acquiring the Palm asset portfolio. However, citing sources intimate with HP's negotiations, it reports that the company wants to be able to license webOS back for use in printers; it wants it so much, in fact, that the issue has become 'a crucial part' of discussions. Maybe there's something about webOS and printers that HP knows and the rest of the world doesn't."

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Bill Gates Takes the Stand In WordPerfect Trial
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '11 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's apparently-some-people-still-care-about-wordperfect department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Remember WorldPerfect? Bill Gates took the witness stand to defend his company against a $1 billion antitrust lawsuit that claims Microsoft duped Novell into thinking he would include WordPerfect in the new Windows system, then backed out because he feared it was too good. Gates testified Monday that Microsoft was racing to put out Windows 95 when he dropped technical features that would no longer support the rival's word processor. He said that in making the decision about the code, he was concerned not about Novell but about one element of the program that could have caused computers to crash. That code, technically known as 'name space extensions,' had to do with the display of folders and files. Novell attorney Jeff Johnson concedes that Microsoft was under no legal obligation to provide advance access to Windows 95 so Novell could prepare a compatible version but contends that Microsoft enticed Novell to work on a version, only to withdraw support months before Windows 95 hit the market. 'We got stabbed in the back.'"

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Cosmic Antimatter Excess Confirmed
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '11 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-news-for-warp-core-engineers department:
sciencehabit writes "In 2008, the Italian satellite PAMELA picked up an unusual signal: a spike in antimatter particles whizzing through space. The discovery, controversial at the time, hinted that physicists might be coming close to detecting dark matter, an enigmatic substance thought to account for 85% of the matter in the universe. Now, new data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope confirm the spike (abstract)."

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A New Class of Inflatable Robots By OtherLab
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-that-lab-but-the-other-lab department:
HizookRobotics writes "Inflatable robots have the potential to be low-cost, lightweight, extremely powerful, and yet 'human safe' — in other words, perfect for many robotics applications. Here are two new examples: a 15-foot-long walking robot (a Pneubot named Ant-Roach) and a complete, inflatable robot arm (plus hand). Both of these robots were developed by Otherlab as part of their 'pneubotics' project (in collaboration with Meka Robotics and Stanford University), with some funding from DARPA's Maximum Mobility and Manipulation program. These robots use textile-based, inflatable actuators that expand upon inflation into specially-designed shapes to effect motion. Since these robots are built out of lightweight fabric-and-air structural members and powered via pneumatics, they exhibit large strength-to-weight ratios. For example, Ant-Roach is less than 70 lbs and can support multiple human riders; the inflatable robot arm is less than 2 lbs and can lift a few hundred pounds at 50-60 psi."

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Anne McCaffrey Passes Away At 85
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department:
JSC writes "Anne McCaffrey died Monday at her home after suffering a stroke. 'In the late 1960s she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for a work of fiction and the first woman to win a Nebula Award. She was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2006.' She will be missed by Dragons and their Riders the world over."

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88-Year-Old Inventor Hassled By the DEA
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 09:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-his-lawn department:
New submitter Calibax writes "30 years ago, Bob Wallace and his partner came up with a product to help hikers, flood victims and others purify water. Wallace, now 88 years old, packs his product by hand in his garage, stores it in his backyard shed and sells it for $6.50. Recently, the DEA has been hassling him because his product uses crystalline iodine. He has been refused a license to purchase the iodine because it can be used in the production of crystal meth, and as a result he is now out of business. A DEA spokesman describes this as 'collateral damage' not resulting from DEA regulations but from the selfish actions of criminals."

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South Korea Blocks Late-Night Online Gaming for Adolescents
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's digital-curfew-keeping-the-zerg-safe department:
PolygamousRanchKid writes "In its effort to curb game addiction among adolescents, South Korea pulled the plug this weekend on young gamers after midnight by blocking access to game websites, putting a hotly debated law into practice. The new system called the 'shutdown law,' also referred to as the 'Cinderella law,' blocks those under the age of 16 from accessing gaming websites after midnight and has fueled heated anger among younger gamers and avid game fans. Critics point out that many teenagers hold gaming accounts created with their parent's personal information, easily providing them with an alternative log-in option. 'You can say someone is an alcoholic if they drink more than three bottles (of liquor) a day, but you can't call them alcoholic because they drink after midnight. It's the same with gaming,' Lee Byung-chan, the lawyer who filed the petition on behalf of parents and a young gamer said. 'From the parents' point of view, it violates their right to educate their children,' Lee added. It is for the parents to decide what time they want to allow their children to play games or not, not for the government to exclude them from that process, the argument goes."

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Internet Water Army On the March
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's or-on-the-wade department:
New submitter kermidge sends in an article at the Physics arXiv blog about what's called the "Internet Water Army," large groups of people in China who are paid to "flood" internet sites with comments and reviews about various products. Researchers at the University of Victoria went undercover to figure out exactly how these informational (or disinformational) floods operate, and what they learned (PDF) could lead to better spam-detection software. Quoting:
"They discovered that paid posters tend to post more new comments than replies to other comments. They also post more often with 50 per cent of them posting every 2.5 minutes on average. They also move on from a discussion more quickly than legitimate users, discarding their IDs and never using them again. What's more, the content they post is measurably different. These workers are paid by the volume and so often take shortcuts, cutting and pasting the same content many times. This would normally invalidate their posts but only if it is spotted by the quality control team. So Cheng and co built some software to look for repetitions and similarities in messages as well as the other behaviors they'd identified. They then tested it on the dataset they'd downloaded from Sina and Sohu and found it to be remarkably good, with an accuracy of 88 per cent in spotting paid posters."

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Google To Shutter Knol, Wave, Gears
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-you-don't-know-what-knol-is-look-it-up-on-wikipedia department:
An anonymous reader writes "Google announced today on its official blog the impending closure of a number of its less successful services. In addition to retiring minor features like Bookmarks List and Friend Connect, Google has outlined a plan to close down Wave. The experimental communication medium will go read-only on January 31, and on April 30 they will shut it down completely. Also on April 30, Google will be changing Knol so that individual knols are not viewable, though users will still be able to download and export them until October 1, at which point they'll disappear entirely. Google Gears is also getting the axe, as is Search Timeline and the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal initiative,"

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CarrierIQ Tries To Silence Security Researcher
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's good-luck-with-that department:
phaedrus5001 sends this quote from a story at Wired:
"A data-logging software company is seeking to squash an Android developer's critical research into its software that is secretly installed on millions of phones, but Trevor Eckhart is refusing to publicly apologize for his research and remove the company's training manuals from his website. Though the software is installed on millions of Android, Blackberry and Nokia phones, Carrier IQ was virtually unknown until the 25-year-old Eckhart analyzed its workings, recently revealing that the software secretly chronicles a user's phone experience, from its apps, battery life and texts. Some carriers prevent users who actually find the software from controlling what information is sent.""
The EFF is hosting PDFs of CarrierIQ's C&D letter, as well as their response on Eckhart's behalf.

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Small OSS Library Project Battles US Corporation
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's what's-in-a-name department:
New submitter abesottedphoenix writes "The rural library responsible for the first open source library catalogue is under attack from defence contractor PTFS. More than a decade after rolling out Koha (which we've discussed in the past), they now find themselves in a battle to keep a generic Mori term within the public domain. The story is also covered at Radio NZ. "

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Doom 3 Source Released
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's done-and-done department:
An anonymous reader writes "Just like Quake 3 before it, the Doom 3 source code has been released to the public (minus rendering of stencil shadows via the 'depth fail' method, a functionality commonly known as 'Carmack's Reverse')."

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AT&T/T-Mobile Merger 'Not In the Public Interest'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's better-luck-next-time department:
jfruhlinger writes "AT&T's plan to merge with T-Mobile just hit a pretty big snag. The FCC declared the merger would be anti-competitive and not in the public interest."
According to the NY Times, the FCC seeks to hold a hearing before an administrative law judge in which the burden would be upon AT&T to prove the deal isn't anti-competitive.

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Tool Kills Hidden Linux Bugs, Vulnerabilities
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cockroaches-hiding-in-your-tux department:
mask.of.sanity writes with this excerpt from SC Magazine:
"Australian researcher Silvio Cesare has released a tool capable of automatically detecting bugs and vulnerabilities in embedded Linux libraries. The script correlates vulnerability advisory CVEs for third-party libraries to determine if holes have carried over to Linux platforms or have not been patched. Such holes often escape the eye of developers because the libraries may not be kept updated with sources. This is further compounded because vulnerabilities in cross distributed packages can leave Linux platforms vulnerable."

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The Future of Protest In Panopticon Nation
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 02:02 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-the-world-is-a-stage department:
Hugh Pickens writes "James Fallows writes that you don't have to idealize everything about the Occupy movement to recognize the stoic resolve of the protesters at UC Davis being pepper sprayed as a moral drama that the protesters clearly won. 'The self-control they show, while being assaulted, reminds me of grainy TV footage I saw as a kid, of black civil rights protesters being fire-hosed by Bull Connor's policemen in Alabama. Or of course the Tank Man in Tiananmen Square,' writes Fallows. 'Such images can have tremendous, lasting power.' We can't yet imagine all the effects of the panopticon society we are beginning to live in but one benefit to the modern protest movement is the omnipresence of cameras (video) as police officials, protesters, and nearly all onlookers are recording whatever goes on bringing greater accountability and a reality-test for police claims that they 'had' to use excessive force. 'What's new is that now the perception war occurs simultaneously with the physical struggle. There's almost parity,' writes Andrew Sprung. 'You have a truncheon or gun, I have a camera. You inflict pain, I inflict infamy.'"

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New Batch of Leaked Climate Emails
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's is-this-a-new-gate-or-can-we-use-the-old-gate department:
New submitter kenboldt writes "Someone going by the alias 'foia' has dropped a link to a zip file containing thousands more emails similar to those released in 2009. There are apparently many more which are locked behind a password, presumably waiting to be released at some time in the future."
The University of East Anglia has released a brief statement indicating that the emails were probably obtained during the 2009 breach and held back until now as "a carefully-timed attempt to reignite controversy."

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AMD Cancels 28nm APUs, Starts From Scratch At TSMC
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's changing-horses department:
MrSeb writes "According to multiple independent sources, AMD has canned its 28nm Brazos-based Krishna and Wichita designs that were meant to replace Ontario and Zacate in the second half of 2012. The company will likely announce a new set of 28nm APUs at its Financial Analyst Day in February — and the new chips will be manufactured by TMSC, rather than its long-time partner GlobalFoundries. The implications and financial repercussions could be enormous. Moving 28nm APUs from GloFo to TSMC means scrapping the existing designs and laying out new parts using gate-last rather than gate-first manufacturing. AMD may try to mitigate the damage by doing a straightforward 28nm die shrink of existing Ontario/Zacate products, but that's unlikely to fend off increasing competition from Intel and ARM in the mobile space."

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Hosting Services May Be Breaking Syrian Sanctions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's digital-confusion department:
judgecorp writes "Many Syrian government sites and services are hosted outside the country, in the U.S., Canada and Germany. A recent report suggests the hosting services may be breaking international sanctions against the Syrian regime, and assisting it in committing 'crimes against humanity.'"

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