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NC Governor Allows Anti-Community-Broadband Law
Posted by News Fetcher on May 21 '11 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's last-mile-socialism department:
zerocore writes "North Carolina governor Bev Perdue will not veto a bill that will limit small town municipalities' ability to create community broadband when private industry will not go there. 'The governor said there is a need to establish rules to prevent cities and towns from having unfair advantage over private companies. But she said she was concerned that the bill would decrease the number of choices available to consumers. The bill would require towns and cities that set up broadband systems to hold public hearings, financially separate their operations from the rest of government operations, and bar from them offering below cost services. They also couldn't borrow money for the project without voter approval in a referendum.'"

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Explosion At Foxconn Factory Kills 2, Injures 16
Posted by News Fetcher on May 21 '11 at 07:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-kill-yourself,-we'll-do-it-for-you department:
arielCo writes "There are several reports in the news about an explosion in a Foxconn factory in Chengdu that manufactures the iPad 2, killing two workers and injuring another 16. 'The Chengdu Municipal government said the explosion occurred in Foxconn's "polishing plant" at around 7 p.m. Experts say it is likely a cleaning stage at the end of the production process after devices are assembled.' There's a short amateur video of the ensuing fire, taken during the evacuation. Apple said they are working with Foxconn to investigate."

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EFF Presses Apple To Indemnify Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 21 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's an-apple-a-day-keeps-the-trolls-away department:
Julie188 writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling on Apple to indemnify its developers from Lodsys — a patent troll that's alleging patent infringement on the in-app purchasing used by iOS apps. (That's the technology developed by Apple and forced on many of its developers.) The letters Lodsys has been sending out came to light on May 13th, and apparently developers have been asking Apple for help to no avail."

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ARM-Based Arduino Competitor At SparkFun
Posted by News Fetcher on May 21 '11 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's arms-like-kali department:
Gibbs-Duhem writes "The LeafLabs Maple, an ARM device designed to be pin compatible with the Arduino, and with a strikingly similar and familiar development environment, has reached a new milestone — being carried by SparkFun. By swapping the popular 'avr-gcc' compiler with CodeSourcery's 'arm-non-eabi-gcc,' LeafLabs manages to provide a nearly identical programming experience to Arduino despite targeting a completely different architecture. Also, while some Arduino shields are incompatible due to certain capabilities being allocated to different pins, several of them are currently supported and there are more to come."

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Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player
Posted by News Fetcher on May 21 '11 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ooh-right-footballer department:
norriefc writes "Here in the UK super injunctions are all the rage. These are injunctions that bar the press from even mentioning that the injunction exist. Recently a twitter account exposed several of these super injunctions and named several people involved and what their alleged indiscretions were. Now one 'famous' soccer player is trying to sue Twitter and the the yet to be named tweeters for invasion of privacy, apparently in ignorance of the Streisand effect. I'm doubtful of an American company paying much attention to UK anti free speech laws"

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North Korean 3G Mobile Subscriptions Hit Half a Million
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's may-I-suggest-a-merger department:
angry tapir writes "The number of 3G cellular subscriptions in North Korea passed half a million during the first quarter, according to the country's only 3G cellular operator. The Koryolink network had 535,133 subscriptions at the end of March, an increase of just over 100,000 on the end of December 2010."

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Phishing Site Discovered On Sony Thailand Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 09:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can't-win-for-losing department:
mcgrew tips news that security firm F-secure has found a live phishing site running on Sony's Thailand servers. "Basically this means that Sony has been hacked, again. Although in this case the server is probably not very important." This comes alongside news that a point service run by So-net, a Sony subsidiary, was accessed by an unknown intruder, who stole about $1,200 worth of virtual tokens. "The intrusions are believed to have taken place on May 16 and 17. So-net discovered the breach on May 18, after receiving consumer complaints. So-net halted the point redemption service following the discovery of the breach. The latest breaches are relatively minor in scale compared to the massive breach at PSN and Sony Entertainment Online. Even so, it only adds to the company's embarrassment."

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do When the Rapture Comes?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 07:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's prone-beneath-a-desk-is-best department:
Okian Warrior writes "Since the rapture is tomorrow (May 21) at 6:00 pm local time (everywhere), I was just wondering: what plans does everyone have? I've got no specific plans for what to do. What will you be doing around 6:00 pm tomorrow?" If you're on the IT staff, you might want to consult this checklist of things to do or not do in the interim.

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New Malware Simulates Hard Drive Failure
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 04:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-a-healthy-reminder department:
An anonymous reader writes "A nasty strain of malware goes beyond mere sensational alerts, it makes it seem the user's hard drive is failing. It moves files from All Users and the current Windows user's profile into a temporary location, making it appear as though problems with the hard drive are causing files to disappear. It also disables a user's ability to change wallpaper images and sets registry keys to hide certain icons — giving the impression that programs are going missing as well. Of course, it's all done in an attempt to get people to buy the software that will fix it."

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A New Approach To Reducing Spam: Go After Credit Processors
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 04:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-drag-out-the-list-of-why-it'll-fail department:
WrongSizeGlass writes "A team of computer scientists at two University of California campuses has been looking deeply into the nature of spam, and they think found a 'choke point' [PDF] that could greatly reduce the flow of spam. It turned out that 95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by just three financial companies — one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies. If a handful of companies like these refused to authorize online credit card payments to the merchants, 'you'd cut off the money that supports the entire spam enterprise,' said one of the scientists."
Frequent Slashdot contributor (and author of a book on Digital Cash) Peter Wayner wonders if "the way to get a business shut down is to send out a couple billion spam messages in its name."

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German Police Seize German Pirate Party Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's perhaps-they-got-the-names-backwards department:
fph il quozientatore writes "The German police have seized today the servers from the German Pirate Party after an attack on the French company EDF. Apparently they are looking for evidence of allegiance with the Anonymous group. In completely unrelated news, the website of the German police was down this afternoon."

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How Today's Tech Alienates the Elderly
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-my-lawn department:
Barence writes "A UK academic has blamed unnecessarily complicated user interfaces for putting older people off today's technology. Mike Bradley, senior lecturer in product design and engineering at Middlesex University, claims efforts to be more inclusive are being undermined by software and hardware design that is exclusively targeted at younger users. He cites the example of the seemingly simple iPhone alarm clock. 'They're faced with a screen with a clock face and a plus sign icon, and they couldn't understand that you were "adding an alarm," so they didn't click the plus sign to get through to that menu. Pressing the clock image takes you through to choices about how the clock is displayed, and it's not easy to get back again.'"

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Signs of Ozone Layer Recovery Detected
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-we-can-officially-stop-caring department:
polar red writes "22 years of banning CFCs is starting to pay off. Researchers have finally been able to measure a reduction in size of the ozone layer hole, after finding the source of its fluctuations. 'Salby's results reveal a fast decline in ozone levels until the late 1990s, then a slow rebound that closely matches what theoretical calculations had predicted, says David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne, Australia. "It is the sort of result that was expected, but is the first to provide detection of an increase in Antarctic ozone levels," he says.'"

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NASA Sets Final Space Shuttle Flight For July
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's make-your-reservations-for-a-week-later department:
coondoggie writes "NASA today said the final space shuttle flight should take place July 8 at about 11:40 am EDT from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It will be the 135th and final mission of NASA's storied Space Shuttle Program. NASA said the July date is based on current planning, and an official launch date will be announced following the June 28 Flight Readiness Review. That review of course could delay the flight, since there are a few technical issues to address."

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Apple: an 'App Store' Is Not a Store For Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's do-you-read-the-words-you-write department:
recoiledsnake writes "What would be your first guess about what an app store sells? Don't be fooled, Apple warns, the phrase 'app store' is not generic and can only be used to describe Cupertino's... um, app store? 'Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words "app store" together denote a store for apps,' Apple said in a Thursday filing with a California district court. All this notwithstanding that Jobs himself used the phrase generically while referring to Android app stores. We've previously discussed this ongoing legal battle."

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Space Station Becomes Dark Matter Hunter
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's stealthily-stalking-its-prey department:
CWmike writes "With a new $2 billion device successfully installed Thursday, the International Space Station has become a dark matter hunter. Two robotic arms worked in tandem to lift the 15,251-pound instrument, called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2, out of space shuttle Endeavour's payload bay and then attached it to the backbone of the space station. The instrument will orbit the Earth, sifting through cosmic particles and providing data that it is hoped will help find the answers to fundamental questions of physics related to antimatter and dark matter."

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Seduction Secrets In Video Game Design
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's install-that-dopamine-drip department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Drawing on cognitive science, an increasing number of game theorists and designers say that our growing love of video games has important things to tell us about our intrinsic desires and motivations. Central to it all is a simple theory – that games are fun because they teach us interesting things and they do it in a way that our brains prefer – through systems and puzzles. 'With games, learning is the drug,' writes Raph Koster, the designer of seminal multiplayer fantasy games such as Ultima Online and Star Wars Galaxies. 'In game theory, this is often spoken of as the "magic circle": you enter into a realm where the rules of the real world don't apply – and typically being judged on success and failure is part of the real world. People need to feel free to try things and to learn without being judged or penalised.' Another important element is autonomy as games tap into our need to have control. This is very obvious in 'god games' such as The Sims, where we shape the lives of virtual humans, but it's becoming a vital element of action adventures and shooters, too. Finally another important game design facet is 'disproportionate feedback,' in which players are hugely rewarded for achieving very simple tasks. In highly successful shooters such as Call of Duty and Bulletstorm, when an enemy is shot, they don't just collapse to the floor, they explode into chunks. 'You're good, you're a success – you're powerful,' writes Stuart. 'Disproportionate feedback is an endorphin come-on.'"

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Why Thunderbolt Is Dead In the Water
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cables-can't-swim department:
adeelarshad82 writes "In the same way that Apple championed FireWire for the replacement of parallel SCSI, Thunderbolt is meant as the next big thing in video and audio peripheral interfaces. Plus, it's Apple's move to beat USB 3.0. However, Thunderbolt is off to a slow start, for a number of reasons — from cost to the technology's features in comparison to USB 3.0 — which is why it may be dead in the water."

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Nano-Viewing Record Broken
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's squint-really-hard department:
smitty777 writes "Wired magazine reports on a new nanoviewing lens that is capable of viewing objects less than 100 nm across. Rather than attempting to use a 'perfect' lens, this technology uses a porous surface that actually scatters the light. By measuring how it is scattered and setting up lasers to compensate, they're able to 'steer' the light back to the right spot. The abstract from the Physical Review Letters reads: 'The smallest structures that conventional lenses are able to optically resolve are of the order of 200 nm. We introduce a new type of lens that exploits multiple scattering of light to generate a scanning nanosized optical focus. With an experimental realization of this lens in gallium phosphide we imaged gold nanoparticles at 97 nm optical resolution. Our work is the first lens that provides a resolution better than 100 nm at visible wavelengths.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Android Security Practices?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 20 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's avoid-installing-malicious-ai department:
Soft writes "Smartphone security recommendations seem to boil down to Windows-like practices: install an antivirus, run updates, and don't execute apps from untrusted sources. On my own computers, running Linux, I choose to only install (signed) packages from the distribution's or well-known repositories, or programs I can check and compile myself, or run them as a dedicated user — and I don't bother with an antivirus. What rules should I adopt on my soon-to-be-bought Android device? Can I use it purely with open-source apps and still make the most of it? Are Android's fine-grained permissions (accessing the network, contacts...) reliable? Can apps be trusted not to scan your files and keyboard for passwords and emails? What precautions do security-conscious Slashdotters take to keep control of their phones?"

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