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Don't Go 3D For 3D's Sake, Says Sony
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's out-of-their-depth department:
Sony is determined to push 3D graphics into the realm of gaming, but the company seems to be aware that quality, not quantity, is what can win over gamers. They've been telling game developers to take the plunge only if it makes for a better gaming experience, and not just to take advantage of an industry buzz word. Sony's Mick Hocking said,
"We need to, and we're trying to encourage everyone to learn about 3D properly and come and talk to us so we'll support them when they convert the games. But only deliver the best quality 3D. As we've seen in some other industries, if you make great quality 3D, in film you could say Avatar – it's the most successful film of all time, it's the highest grossing film of all time – but since then that hasn't been followed up with the same degree of success. ... If people see great quality 3D it does enhance the experience. It's a great feature for a game. But if they see poor quality 3D it can put them off. Unfortunately some people are producing poor quality 3D, in all mediums. Over the last 12 months we've seen TV, film, some games, where the quality hasn't been there. It's just a case of people need to understand how to work with 3D, how to make it technically correct and then how to use it creatively. Only add 3D where it makes a difference to the gameplay experience. It must add something. Don't just add depth for the sake of it."

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Scientists Make Biochem "Brain" From DNA Strands
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's big-brain-little-brain department:
thebchuckster writes "Scientists from the California Institute of Technology have created an artificial neural network (or a "tiny brain," in the words of the lead scientist) from DNA strands that interact with biochemical inputs. The artificial neurons of this network can take incomplete inputs, interact with each other, and come up with a complete conclusion. This is what the human brain does on a much more complex scale. It's also a principle scientists have used for computing and robotics."

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TSA Body Scanners To Show Less Revealing Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 07:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-little-less-leg department:
tgtanman writes "The Washington Post reports that the TSA will begin installing new software on millimeter wave body scanners at 41 airports that will replace the controversial body images with generic images of the body. While the change is currently limited to millimeter wave scanners, similar upgrades for backscatter scanners is being developed, according to the TSA. The ACLU has applauded the changes but continues to note other concerns with the scanners."

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8% of Android Apps Are Leaking Private Information
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sieve-phone department:
kai_hiwatari writes "Neil Daswani, who is also the CTO of security firm Dasient, says that they have studied around 10,000 Android apps and have found that 800 of them are leaking private information of the user to an unauthorized server. Neil Daswani is scheduled to present the full findings at the Black Hat Conference in Las Vegas which starts on July 30th. The Dasient researchers also found out that 11 of the apps they have examined are sending unwanted SMS messages."

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Police To Begin iPhone Iris Scans
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's look-at-the-phone-citizen department:
cultiv8 writes "Dozens of police departments nationwide are gearing up to use a tech company's already controversial iris- and facial-scanning device that slides over an iPhone and helps identify a person or track criminal suspects. The smartphone-based scanner, named Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System, or MORIS, is made by BI2 Technologies in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and can be deployed by officers out on the beat or back at the station. An iris scan, which detects unique patterns in a person's eyes, can reduce to seconds the time it takes to identify a suspect in custody. This technique also is significantly more accurate than results from other fingerprinting technology long in use by police, BI2 says. When attached to an iPhone, MORIS can photograph a person's face and run the image through software that hunts for a match in a BI2-managed database of U.S. criminal records. Each unit costs about $3,000."

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Jury Acquits Citizens of Illegally Filming Police
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lights-camera-legal-action department:
sexybomber writes "The Springfield (MA) Republican reports two men accused of illegally filming the process as they bailed friends out of jail that last summer, were acquitted of all charges Tuesday. Pete Eyre and Adam Mueller initially were granted permission to film the bail process, but later were forbidden by jail officials from recording the procedure. When they continued to digitally recording their encounter with jail officials, they were arrested by police. Eyre and Mueller testified that they never attempted to hide the fact that they were recording at the jail. Not only did they ask permission to film the bail-out process — which initially was granted — but their recording devices were 'out in the open,' Eyre said. The Jury found the defendants not guilty of three criminal counts: Each was acquitted of unlawful wiretapping, while Mueller also was acquitted of a charge of resisting arrest."

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Google Trying to Lure Celebs to Google+
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's time-to-play-endorsementville department:
alphadogg writes "Part of the buzz this week about Google+ is that Google is reportedly working to lure celebrities such as Lady Gaga to its new social network service with verified accounts. Not sure if tech big shots beyond Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg count as celebrities, but the list of the technology industry's biggest names using Google+ is on the rise. Dell chief Michael Dell – yes, the real Michael Dell — has grabbed headlines for his early enthusiasm for Google+ and interest in using it as a newfangled customer support and interaction tool. Open source movers and shakers like Linus Torvalds, Miguel de Icaza are also posting away."

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Airport Queuing Time Measured With Bluetooth
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's next-line-please department:
jones_supa writes "Helsinki-Vantaa airport has established a new method of monitoring security control queue times, utilizing phones with Bluetooth enabled. When a passenger passes through security control, the system calculates the time taken to queue and be served based on time stamps registered by the sensors. The plan is to eventually display all queuing times, which will allow busy passengers to decide whether it would be better to move to another checkpoint."

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Suppressed Report Shows Pirates Are Good Customers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's biting-the-hand-that-steals-from-you department:
An anonymous reader writes "The movie and music industry think pirates are criminals and parasites who cost both industries billions of dollars in lost sales. In order to prove this fact a number of studies have been commissioned to help demonstrate the effect a pirate has on sales of entertainment. GfK Group is one of the largest market research companies in the world and is often used by the movie industry to carry out research and studies into piracy. Talking to a source within GfK who wished to remain anonymous, Telepolis found that a recent study looking at pirates and their purchasing activities found them to be almost the complete opposite of the criminal parasites the entertainment industry want them to be. The study states that it is much more typical for a pirate to download an illegal copy of a movie to try it before purchasing. They are also found to purchase more DVDs than the average consumer, and they visit the movie theater more, especially for opening weekend releases which typically cost more to attend."

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World's Largest Visualization Analytics Display
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's put-it-on-the-big-screen department:
An anonymous reader writes "An 80-foot wide visualization screen at California ISO graphically displays sensor readings from thousands of smart meters as well as provides predictive analytics. By analyzing the grid and environmental inputs like where the wild fires are burning, Space-Time Insights claims its algorithms head off power outages before they can materialize, turning California ISO operators into forecasters instead of damage controllers. If it keeps the lights on and the air conditioners running, I'm all for it!"

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Top General: Defense Department IT In "Stone Age"
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sharpen-your-e-spear department:
CWmike writes "U.S. Marine Corps Gen. James 'Hoss' Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was sharply critical Tuesday of the the department is pretty much in the Stone Age as far as IT is concerned,' Cartwright said. He cited problems with proprietary systems that aren't connected to anything else and are unable to quickly adapt to changing needs. 'We have huge numbers of data links that move data between proprietary platforms — one point to another point,' he said. The most striking example of an IT failure came during the second Gulf War, where Marines and the Army were dispatched in southern Iraq, he said. 'It's crazy, we buy proprietary [and] we don't understand what it is we're buying into,' he said. 'It works great for an application, and then you come to conflict and you spend the rest of your time trying to modify it to actually do what it should do.'"

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Scientists Study Impact of Wearing Medieval Armor
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's turns-out-it's-really-heavy department:
FoolishOwl writes "Scientists at the University of Leeds tested the effects of wearing heavy medieval armor by monitoring volunteers, who were experienced medieval reenactors, as they walked and ran on treadmills, while wearing accurate replicas of 15th century armor. While the suits of armor weighed between 30 and 50 kg, comparable to the weight of gear carried by modern soldiers, volunteers who carried equivalent amounts of weight in backpacks had an easier time with the weight. Volunteers in armor burned more energy and had difficulty breathing. The scientists speculate that much of the additional effort was due to weight of armor on the legs — leg armor was one of the first things dropped in the shift towards lighter armor in the 16th century. While it has long been assumed that heavy medieval armor limited mobility, and that this contributed to the outcome of battles, such as the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, this was the first study to quantify the impact of wearing heavy armor."

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Google To Discontinue Google Labs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shut-it-down department:
kai_hiwatari writes "Today, Google has announced that they are closing down Google Labs. They say that this will help them prioritize their product effort. Google says that closing Google Labs means ending many of their experiments. However, not every experiment will be gone. Google will be incorporating the Labs experiments they have decided to continue in other product areas. Android apps such as Google Goggles, Google Listen etc. will continue to be available in the Android Market."

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Fermilab Scientists Discover New Particle
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's isn't-it-cute department:
An anonymous reader writes "Fermilab today announced that scientists working at the CDF (Collision Detector at Fermilab) experiment confirmed the observation of a new particle, the Xi-sub-b. The Xi-sub-b is categorized as are baryon, which are formed of three quarks. Commonly known baryons include the proton as well as the neutron."

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Book Review: Cyber Warfare
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
raceBannon writes "The authors, Steve Winterfield and Jason Andress, cover everything you will want to consider when thinking about how to use

cyberspace to conduct warfare operations. The primary concepts have been bouncing around US military circles for over a

decade but they have never been collected into one tome before. Clarke and Knake's book, Cyber War: The Next Threat to

National Security and What to Do about It,
discusses how weak the US network defenses are and offers suggestions

about how to improve. Carr's book, Inside CyberWarfare: Maping the Cyber Underworld, presents threat examples

and nation state capabilities. Libicki's book, Cyberdeterrence and Cybrewar, attacks cyberwar from a policy

viewpoint and does not really address operational considerations. Stiennon's book, Surviving Cyberwar, is a

good place to start if you are new to the subject and is almost a prerequisite for this book."
Read on for the rest of raceBannon's review. Cyber Warfare: Techniques, Tactics and Tools for Security Practitioners
author Jason Andress and Steve Winterfield
pages 289
publisher Syngress
rating 10
reviewer raceBannon
ISBN 1597496375
summary A consolidation of the current thinking around the topic of cyber warfare.

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Sheikh Carves His Name In Desert So It's Visible From Space
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's best-vanity-plate-ever department:
While it isn't as cool as carving his name on the surface of the moon with a giant heat ray, Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Ahyan's enormous signature is quite an accomplishment nonetheless. Measuring 1,000 meters high and two miles long, the sheiks name is now visible from space. From the article: "And rather than allow the writing to be washed away by the ocean, the letters actually form waterways that absorb the encroaching tide.The ruler's name is even visible on Google's map service. Hamad dreamed up the idea and had his workmen toil for weeks to craft the enormous piece of sand graffiti. It is not known how much it cost to make."

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Space Shuttle Atlantis Last Night In Space Orbit
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's end-of-an-era department:
techtribune writes "Tomorrow will be a bittersweet day for the crew aboard the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis as they begin their return home to Earth. This will be the last space shuttle re-entry, the last landing, and the very last crew to pilot the shuttle in U.S. history. The Atlantis Space Shuttle undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) yesterday after delivering a lot of supplies, batteries, and other hardware to the station. They are bringing a lot of trash and everything else that needs to be brought back to Earth, as it's the very last opportunity for NASA to do so on its own." In a related topic, MarkWhittington wrote in with a story about why we stopped going to the moon and why there are no plans to go back.

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Lenovo Unveils Android ThinkPad and IdeaPad Slates
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's everyone-likes-new-stuff department:
MojoKid writes "While many tablets are slimming down (and losing valuable ports), Lenovo's new ThinkPad Tablet is on the bulky side with the hope that business professionals appreciate it. The Tablet is a biz-oriented slate with a 10.1" panel, a Tegra 2 (1GHz) chip, and most importantly, a full-size USB port. Lenovo is also introducing a $99 Keyboard Folio case, which will wrap around the device to keep it safe, but also provides a full QWERTY keyboard and an optical trackpad. It features Android 3.1, access to Lenovo's app store, a 2MP front-facing camera, 1080p video output, Wi-Fi, 3G, 16/32/64GB of storage, and a 5MP rear camera. The company also introduced a consumer targeted slate called the IdeaPad K1, and it sports a 13.3mm thin form-factor that focuses on entertainment and consumption."

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Second Life Mine Simulation Receives an Emmy Nomination
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's virtual-black-lung department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Virtual Mine, an interactive simulation set in the virtual world of Second Life designed to examine the effects of mountaintop coal mining, has been nominated for an Emmy Award for new approaches to news and documentary programming. From the article: 'The Virtual Mine allows visitors to take a closer look at the challenges of balancing the environment, power demands, and economic interests by inviting them to take part in a story as it unfolds through a series of three games. While it was created with educators and students in mind, the games can be played in groups or by individuals alike.'"

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Fake Apple Stores Mushrooming In China
Posted by News Fetcher on July 20 '11 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's knock-off-business department:
siliconbits writes "A new worrying phenomenon has cropped up in China and Apple has been its first victim; meet the first fake Apple Stores, entire buildings that have been designed to look like the real ones. Chinese companies have long been known for being master copiers but this takes the concept of plagiarism and copying to a whole new level. As expected, everything, from the architecture of the building, the colour of the paint, to the products, the T-shirt worn by the staff down to the logo and the badge design come from Cupertino."

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