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Amazon Folds In California Sales Tax Deal
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's mussolini-would-be-proud department:
theodp writes "In a deal indicating all sides appear ready to call a truce, the San Jose Mercury News reports that Amazon.com is offering to back down from its referendum drive to repeal an online sales tax in exchange for a one-year moratorium on collecting the tax. Under the deal, Amazon would agree to begin collecting the tax from California residents in September 2012, unless Congress takes action on Internet sales taxes before then. The development comes a day after a NY Times editorial ripped Amazon over its sales 'tax dodge.'"

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Nike to Unveil Self Lacing Shoes?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where-we're-going-we-don't-need-laces department:
xTK-421x writes "Looks like Nike is announcing tonight (8:30PM PST) that they've finally been able to create the self lacing shoes from Back to the Future 2. TechCrunch reported on receiving an invitation to a Nike event taking place in Los Angeles today, where Nike would announce the release of the Air Mags, the self-lacing shoes that first made their appearance in Back to the Future II."

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Google Acquires Zagat
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's is-anyone-yelping-this? department:
quantr writes "Google has acquired Zagat, one of the most well-known names in restaurant reviews. Zagat is best known for its small guidebooks (the dead-tree sort) that offer reviews and recommendations on restaurants around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed."

Newly accepted submitter jkirch writes with a link to Google's announcement.

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Ask Slashdot: Best Programs To Learn From?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 08:01 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's besides-aa-of-course department:
First time accepted submitter camServo writes "I took C++ classes in college and I have played around with some scripting languages. We learned the basics of how to make C++ work with small programs, but when I see large open source projects, I never know where to even start to try and figure out how their code works. I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions for some nice open source projects to look at to get an idea for how programming works in the real world, so I can start giving back to the FOSS community." Where would you start?

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1970s Polaroid SX-70 Cameras Make a Comeback
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-all-your-expensive-art-projects department:
cylonlover writes "When it was released in 1972, the Polaroid SX-70, with its foldable SLR design, was the world's first instant SLR. It was also the first camera to use Polaroid's then-new integral instant film that contained all the chemical layers required to expose, develop, and fix the photo. Photojojo is now offering Limited Edition Polaroid SX-70 cameras that have all been restored to working condition, and integral instant film is also available."

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Moxie Marlinspike's Solution To the SSL CA Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's disaggregate-someone-today department:
Trevelyan writes "In his Blackhat talk on the past and future of SSL (YouTube video) Moxie Marlinspike explains the problems of SSL today, and the history of how it came to be so. He then goes on to not only propose a solution, but he's implemented it as well: Convergence. It will let you turn off all those untrustable CAs in you browser and still safely use HTTPS. It even works with self-signed certificates. You still need to trust someone, but not forever like CAs. The system has 'Notaries,' which you can ask anonymously for their view on a certificate's authenticity. You can pool Notaries for a consensus, and add/remove them at any time."

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$5M In Torrented Files Presented As Art
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's think-about-the-street-value-of-this-mountain department:
ideonexus snips thus from Wired: "The Art 404 gallery is currently exhibiting a piece by Manuel Palou called '5 Million Dollars, 1 Terabyte' which is a 'sculpture' consisting of a 1 TB external hard drive containing $5,000,000 worth of illegally downloaded files. The hard drive is displayed on a pedestal at the gallery."

Adds ideonexus: "There is a PDF of the files stored on the device with links to the torrents." I'd like this to be an exhibit at every trial in which gigantic money damages are claimed for copyright infringement.

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Fukushima and Chernobyl Side-by-Side
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's holy-super-pollution department:
gbrumfiel writes "It's now been six months since an earthquake and tsunami sparked a triple meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. New data from the Japanese government is now allowing a closer comparison of the fallout from the disaster with the Chernobyl. In terms of Cs-137, the contaminant of greatest concern, Fukushima appears to be about a fifth as bad as Chernobyl. Nature News has a Google Earth mash-up that lets you see the two accidents together. Nature also reports that chaos and bureaucracy are slowing efforts to research the crisis." (Note: There's plenty left for Linux users in the accompanying text, but the Google Earth plug-in is for Windows and Mac OS X only.)

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Missouri Hedges On 'Teachers Can't Friend Students' Law
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hemming-and-hawing-and-free-association department:
bs0d3 writes with an excerpt from an AP story, as carried by NECN.com: "Missouri senators took a step Wednesday toward repealing a contentious new law limiting online conversations between teachers and students, but stirred opposition from the governor by still attempting to mandate that schools adopt their own policies about online chats and text messages. The action by the Senate Education Committee comes a couple of weeks after a Missouri judge blocked the new law on teacher-Internet communications from taking effect because of concerns it infringes on free-speech rights."

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Nintendo Faces Patent Suit Over the Wii
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's to-the-rocket-docket department:
An anonymous reader writes "A company named Thinkoptics has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo over the motion controller used with the Wii. Apparently they make a similar product named the Wavit Remote, and they've been granted patents describing its operation. 'And they've chosen the setting most likely to yield a win: the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Texas. Now, that's not to say that Wavit-maker Thinkoptics will get a win, but this particular court circuit tends to favor the patent holder over all else. The patent in question, U.S. Patent Number 7,796,116, is titled "Electronic equipment for handheld vision based absolute pointing system." Thinkoptics' primary argument in the case is that Nintendo had previous knowledge that the Wii would infringe based on the Trademark Office's rejection of certain claims in Nintendo-filed patents.'"

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After Firing CEO, Yahoo Puts Itself Up For Sale
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's make-me-an-offer department:
Reeses writes "Fare thee well, Yahoo: In addition to firing CEO Carol Bartz, Yahoo's board has now put the company up for sale. From the article: 'It was once the world's leading search engine, its founders held talks about a merger with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation – and it even managed to fend off a $44bn takeover bid by Microsoft. But Yahoo has put itself up for sale, after firing its chief executive of 18 months Carol Bartz by phone.'"

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Linux 3D Games Run Faster On PC-BSD
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's with-enough-emulators-we-could-make-the-singularity department:
koinu writes "Phoronix has published benchmarks comparing 3D game performance on Ubuntu Linux 11.04 with the FreeBSD Linux ABI emulation on the 8.2 release of PC-BSD, which is a desktop variant of FreeBSD. Most results show that the emulated Linux layer on FreeBSD performs better than Linux natively. It's pretty interesting, because most people would expect that an additional abstraction layer would generally slow down the execution of binaries."

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P2P Traffic Drops 10% After New NZ Law
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 01:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stop-sharing department:
harryjohnston writes "Following the introduction of New Zealand's new copyright legislation, which we discussed last week, major ISP Orcon reports that international peer-to-peer traffic has dropped 10%. This might mean that the law is actually working to some extent, though experts say the effect will probably only be temporary."

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Michael Hart, Inventor of the E-book, Dead At 64
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '11 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-moment-of-silence department:
FeatherBoa writes "Michael Hart, the founder and long time driving force behind Project Gutenberg and 1971 inventor of the electronic book has died at his home in Urbana Ill, on Sept. 6th 2011. Project Gutenberg is recognized as one of the earliest and longest-lasting online literary projects, has spawned sister projects in Australia, Canada, Germany and other locations to transcribe public domain literature and make it available via the Internet."

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Hidden Wi-Fi Diagnostics Application In OS X Lion
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 11:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-an-eye-on-things department:
WankerWeasel writes "The latest version of Apple's operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion, has a hidden Wi-Fi Diagnostics application that allows the user to view information about their wireless network performance, record performance and also capture raw frames. Hidden away in the System folder the application is meant for Apple tech diagnostic use but is also very useful for any user interested in diagnosing wi-fi problems or checking network performance."

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British CS Majors Doing Badly In the Jobs Market
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-work-for-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "British CS majors do badly in the job market — with, four years after graduation, a higher than average (for college graduates) unemployment rate and fewer returning to higher education. Brit CS majors also do badly immediately after graduation. No similar US figures exist reports the Computing Education Blog."

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Microbes Produce Power As They Clean Nuclear Waste
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 08:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's two-in-one department:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have isolated and explained the phenomenon that causes microbes to generate electricity while cleaning up nuclear waste. The team is hoping to use their findings to create a microbial fuel cell that is capable of generating renewable energy while it cleans up environments exposed to nuclear waste. The bacteria the team studied is a kind of geobacter that is covered in a coat of tiny, natural nanowires that protect the bacteria from the toxic materials. While completing the complex task of stabilizing radioactive spills, the bacteria simultaneously creates energy that can be harnessed and used as a zero-emissions power supply."

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Obama Admin Wants Hackers Charged As Mobsters
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 06:01 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime department:
GovTechGuy writes "The Obama administration wants hackers to be prosecuted under the same laws used to target organized crime syndicates, according to two officials appearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. From the article: 'Associate Deputy Attorney General James Baker and Secret Service Deputy Special Agent in Charge Pablo Martinez said the maximum sentences for cyber crimes have failed to keep pace with the severity of the threats. Martinez said hackers are often members of sophisticated criminal networks. "Secret Service investigations have shown that complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual," Martinez said.'"

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HTC Sues Apple Using Google Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 04:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's litigate-or-die department:
AlienIntelligence writes "Apparently to stay viable in the IP wars, HTC secured some patents from Google (who purchased them originally from Palm Inc., Motorola Inc. and Openwave Systems Inc.) on the 1st of September. The patents were used to fire a new salvo of shots across Apple's bow today, September 7th. HTC filed infringement claims against Apple in federal court in Delaware, suing based on four of those patents that originally were issued to Motorola. Additional complaints were filed with the US ITC based on the other patents."

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Scientists Create New Type of Superconductor Wires
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '11 at 03:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greased-lightning department:
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists in Israel have used technology created at a US-funded national research lab to created a new kind of wire spun from sapphire crystals, that is a vastly better conductor than traditional copper wires. The research could have profound implications for renewable energy since much of the generation is in remote locations. It could help bring more electricity from renewable sources to cities."

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