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Rent Your Own Botnet
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 12:31 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's wake-up-with-missing-kidney department:
An anonymous reader writes "New research shows that the TDSS/TDL-4 botnet, widely considered one of the largest and most sophisticated, can be rented via a Web storefront available to all comers. Researchers from Kaspersky found that the latest version of TDSS installs a file that sets the machine up as a proxy for anonymous browsing, and then phones home to awmproxy.net, which rents the proxies for rates from $3 per day to $300 a week. The curators of this service even created a Firefox add-on to help customers. 'Interestingly, AWMproxy says it accepts payment via PayPal, MasterCard, and Visa.'"

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NASA Reveals New Images of Apollo Landing Sites
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 12:01 PM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's looks-like-photoshop-to-me department:
sighted writes "Sharp new images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites in amazing detail, including the last foot trails left by astronauts on the lunar surface."

These pictures were grabbed after the LRO dropped its orbit from 50km above the surface to 25km.

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Kinect Based Whole Building Breakout
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 11:31 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's blinken-blinken-lights department:
mikejuk writes with a light piece in I Programmer about a neat Kinect and gigantic projector hack. From the article: "If you remember Breakout — rows of blocks a the top of the screen and a paddle to bounce a ball into them to destroy a block — then you might not feel nostalgic about it. After all, it was a very limited sort of game. However, take one Kinect and one building and you have something quite different when you use it to create a Breakout game. The bricks, ball and paddle all projected onto an old building and the player moves from side-to-side to control the paddle. The player's position is being detected by a Kinect, is there no end to the fun you can have with this gadget. The really clever bit, and you might not notice it unless you look closely at the video, is that the ball bounces off real architectural features of the building — like the windows, for example."

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Paralyzed Patients Control Robot With Brain Waves
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 11:01 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's watch-out-for-doctor-hawkins department:
sciencehabit writes with a writeup of a French research paper in Science. From the article: "They're not quite psychic yet, but machines are getting better at reading your mind. Researchers have invented a new, noninvasive method for recording patterns of brain activity and using them to steer a robot. Scientists hope the technology will give 'locked in' patients ... the ability to interact with others and even give the illusion of being physically present ... with friends and family."

The really interesting thing here is that people who had not used their limbs in years were able to learn how to control the robot (as well as the control group did) after being trained only an hour a week for six weeks.

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Sprint Files Suit Against AT&T T-Mobile Merger
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's shoot-it-till-it's-dead department:
zacharye writes with a news post in BGR. From the article: "Sprint ... announced that it has filed a lawsuit with a federal court in the U.S. District of Columbia in an effort to block AT&T's planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deutsche Telekom. The suit is related to the Department of Justice's lawsuit, which was filed on August 31st. 'Sprint opposes AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile,' Sprint's vice president of litigation Suzan Haller said. 'With today's legal action, we are continuing that advocacy on behalf of consumers and competition, and expect to contribute our expertise and resources in proving that the proposed transaction is illegal.'"

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Wicked Lasers Introduces Handheld One-Watt Green Laser
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's I-want-a-dozen-mounted-on-my-car department:
First time accepted submitter (and Slashdot coder) cogent writes "Wicked Lasers, famous for last year's 1000mW handheld blue laser, and infamous for its handling of six-month-long backorders, is now selling a green version. There are three power levels, each priced at $1/mW (300mW, 500mW, 1000mW). Since the eye is far more sensitive to green than to blue, this is pretty much the state of the art in putting-dots-on-stuff technology. Wicked Lasers sent out an email promising to handle backorders much better this time."

Adds reader whitedsepdivine: "There is currently no disclaimer that this is not a lightsaber on their site, so we can only assume that this version is."

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World Population Expected To Hit 7 Billion In Late October
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's where-do-you-get-a-nice-malthus-mask? department:
kkleiner writes "A new report documents the prodigious rate at which the world's population is growing. It was just 1999 when we reached 6 billion. And now within the next month or two we will have surpassed 7 billion. What does the continued increase in world population mean for humanity and for the the planet?"

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BMW Working On Laser Headlamps
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hot-high-beams department:
MrSeb writes "LED headlamps are only just trickling onto the market — mostly on high-end cars — but now it seems a certain German automaker has plans for laser headlamps. 'Laser light is the next logical step in car light development ... for series production within a few years in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid,' says BMW. Lasers have the potential to be simultaneously more powerful, more efficient, and smaller than other headlamp types. Before you get too excited, though: the output of laser headlights will be modulated for safety."

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Kevin Kelly Answers Your Questions
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's time-is-all-we-have-really department:
Kevin Kelly ("Senior Maverick for Wired Magazine," among many other things) is back with answers to a selection of the questions posed to him by Slashdot readers. Read on below for his take on travel, the Long Now Foundation (including the 10,000-year clock — clocks! — that is among the foundation's projects), the future of fusion, and what to do about inevitable widespread suckage.

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Ask Slashdot: Classroom Eco-Projects Suited To Alaska?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's demonstrate-permafrost-fusion department:
First time accepted submitter shortyadamk writes "I just started a new job where I will have to visit many high school science classes and have the students participate in 1-3 day projects regarding sustainable energy and environmental sciences (in order to promote the regional universities' programs). I've looked at a number of the boxed projects available online and many of them are solar projects; my biggest issue with that is that we are in rural Alaska and much of the time I'll be visiting classes will be in the winter (when we have very little sunlight — and even if we did it would be too cold to go and play in). I'm curious if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for demonstrations and projects that can be done in the classroom and do not require sunlight. One other catch is that the project has to be small enough to fit in a suitcase or plastic tote; we don't have any roads connecting the villages so I will have to fly the project from school to school with me."

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Stanford AI Class 'Beta' For Commercial Launch?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's monetizing-disaggregatiion department:
First time accepted submitter Lyrdor writes "The Terms of Service for the Stanford Artificial Intelligence class points to how the free class this fall will be used for 'developing and evaluating the Online Course prior any commercial release of the Course' by a startup called KnowLabs. Although all of the press accounts so far have pointed to how the course would be a new example of Open Educational Resources from Stanford, the terms of service point to something else going on. On the LinkedIn page of David Stavens, Co-Founder and CEO at Know Labs, the startup is described on his profile as an 'angel funded startup to re-envision and revolutionize education using the social web and mobile apps. We launched www.ai-class.com and attracted over 130,000 students in 190+ countries.'"

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(Possible) Diginotar Hacker Comes Forward
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's have-in-my-hand-a-list-of-names department:
arglebargle_xiv writes "At the risk of burning people out on the topic of PKI fail, someone claiming to be the Diginotar hacker has come forward to claim responsibility: It's the ComodoGate hacker. He also claims to 0wn four more 'high-profile' CAs, and still has the ability to issue new rogue certificates, presumably from other CAs that he 0wns." Whether this claim turns out to be truthful or not, what led to the breach in the first place? Reader Dr La points to an interim report commissioned by the Dutch government (PDF), according to which
"a) No antivirus software was present on Diginotar's servers; b) 'the most critical servers' had malicious software infections; c) The software installed on the public web servers was outdated and not patched; and d) all servers were accessible by one user/password combination, which was 'not very strong and could easily be brute-forced.'"

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UK Government Breaks Open Source Promises
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-sounded-good-at-the-time department:
judgecorp writes "The UK government has promised to favour open source systems in its procurement (and made those promises repeatedly). However, freedom of information requests have shown it is doing nothing of the sort. It is giving contracts to the same large suppliers as before."

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USPS Losing Battle Against the E-mail Age
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's think-of-the-circulars department:
An anonymous reader writes "An article in the NY Times explains how the United States Postal Service is in dire financial straits, and will need emergency action from Congress to forestall a shutdown later this year. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said simply, 'If Congress doesn't act, we will default.' Labor agreements prohibiting layoffs are preventing one avenue for reducing costs, and laws forbidding postage rates from surpassing inflation rates keep income down. On top of that, the proliferation of e-mail and online bill-paying services have contributed to a 22% reduction in snail-mail volume since 2006. They're currently hoping for legislation that would relax their economic requirements and considering an end to Saturday delivery."

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Hair Growth Signal Dictated By Fat Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '11 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let-it-shine-let-it-shine department:
RogerRoast writes "According to an article published in the journal Cell, molecular signals from fat cell (adipocyte) precursors under the skin are necessary to spur hair growth in mice. Yale researchers report in the paper that these cells produce molecules called PDGF (platelet derived growth factors), which are necessary to produce hair growth. The discovery of the source of signals that trigger hair growth may lead to new treatments for baldness. The trick is in getting adipocyte precursors under the skin to talk to stem cells at the base of the hair follicles."

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Stuffing a PS3 and an Xbox 360 Into a PC Case
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '11 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's no-more-exclusive-game-launches department:
An anonymous reader writes "A man identifying himself as 'Timofiend' has posted a detailed walkthrough of how he built an impressive case mod that fits both a PlayStation 3 and an Xbox 360 into a mid-tower computer case. He used one of the newer Slim 360 models hooked up to an ATX power supply, and one of the bulkier old PS3 units, with its standard power supply as well. After arranging the internal boards, persuading the two optical drives to fit and loading up on fans to prevent overheating, he wound up with a very cool (and functional!) blend of gaming platforms."

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E Ink Demos New Displays, Gadgets At IFA 2011
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '11 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's dead-tree-salvation department:
An anonymous reader writes "E Ink turned up at IFA 2011 with its Triton color e-paper, which has exactly the same properties as the monochrome version found in the Kindle (two-month battery life, no power use when viewing a page, as readable as a sheet of paper) while adding 4,096 colors. We also get to see the E Ink watch, signage, cellphone and USB stick displays, and the latest glass-less e-paper inside a credit card. E Ink hopes to use the new plastic substrate in future e-readers, meaning they will be thinner, lighter, and more shatterproof than those that ship today."

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Cloud Gaming Service OnLive Unofficially On Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '11 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's penguins-in-the-clouds department:
An anonymous reader writes "Through some clever patching, OnLive community members have found a way to run OnLive on Linux using Wine. While the fix isn't perfect, this is a giant leap for Linux users wanting to play the latest games without the need for Windows. Linux users can now play several high quality games like the new Deus Ex with very few performance issues and on lower end hardware."

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Tanks Test Infrared Camouflage Cloak
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '11 at 07:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's progress-in-our-war-against-the-deaf department:
LibRT writes with this excerpt from the BBC:
"Tanks could soon get night-time invisibility thanks to a cloaking device that masks their infrared signature. Developed by BAE Systems, the Adaptiv technology allows vehicles to mimic the temperature of their surroundings. It can also make a tank look like other objects, such as a cow or car, when seen through heat-sensitive 'scopes. The hi-tech camouflage uses hexagonal panels, or pixels, made of a material that can change temperature very quickly. About 1,000 pixel panels, each of which is 14cm across, are needed to cover a small tank. The panels are driven by on-board thermal cameras that constantly image the ambient temperature of the tank's surroundings. This is projected on to the panels to make it harder to spot. The cameras can also work when the tank is moving."

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Evaluating Patent Troll Myths
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '11 at 04:16 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's wooden-stakes-still-work-but-they-like-garlic department:
An anonymous reader writes "In a guest post on the Patently-O blog, Villanova University professor Michael Risch summarizes his detailed study into the methods and efficacy of patent trolls. He writes, 'It turns out that most of what I thought about trolls — good or bad — was wrong.... Perhaps the biggest surprise in the study was the provenance of patents. I thought most patents came from failed startups. While such patents were represented (about 14% of initial assignees were defunct), most came from companies still in business in 2010. Indeed, more than a third of the initial assignees were publicly traded, a subsidiary of a public company, or venture capital recipients. Only 21% were patent assertion entities at the time the patent issued, and many of those were inventor owned companies (like Katz) rather than acquisition entities (like Acacia). ... Another area of surprise was patent quality. While trolls almost never won their cases if they went to judgment (only three cases led to an infringement finding on the merits), the percentage of patents invalidated on the merits was lower than I expected.'"

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