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US Citizen Visiting Thailand Arrested For Blog Posting
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-I'd-like-to-go department:
societyofrobots writes "A US citizen, upon visiting Thailand for medical treatment, was arrested for lese majeste (insulting the king) and computer crimes ('entering false information into a computer system'). He is charged for posting a link on his blog to a banned book, The King Never Smiles, and for translating excerpts of it. He made the posting four years ago in 2007, while in the US. Trials for lese majeste are traditionally held in secret, for reasons of 'national security'. AFP has more information."

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What Internet Searches Reveal About Human Desire
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's particular-subset-of-human-desire department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Time Magazine reports that computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam analyzed the results of 400 million online searches for porn and uncovered some startling insights into what men and women may really want from each other. In the first place, although you can find an instance of any kind of porn you can imagine on the internet, people search for and spend money and time on 20 sexual interests, which account for 80% of all porn — the top 10 sex-related searches include variations on youth (13.5 per cent), breasts (4 per cent), cheating wives (3.4 per cent) and cheerleaders (0.1 per cent) among others. Many are surprised that "cheating wives" is such a popular search but Ogas says that it's one of the top interests all around the world because men are wired to be sexually jealous but simultaneously they're also sexually aroused so if a man sees a woman — including his partner — with another man, he becomes more aroused. Women prefer stories to visual porn by a long shot and the most popular erotica for women is the romance novel because female desire requires multiple stimuli simultaneously or in quick succession."

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GameStop To Honor Ancient Duke Nukem Pre-Orders
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-shouldn't-they-anyhow? department:
doug141 writes "GameStop encourages customers who pre-ordered more than a year ago to verify their reservation with their local store. 'Provided the customer has a receipt, we will honor even those pre-orders taken long ago. At this time, we expect that all pre-order customers will receive Duke's Big Package at time of purchase, regardless of when the reservation was made.'" If you have an especially old order, though, you might want to visit the store with your original punchcard, or a daguerreotype of it.

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Ask Slashdot: Best Smartphone Plan For a US Vacation?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's might-help-the-natives-too department:
SJrX writes "I am planning on visiting the Pacific Northwest for several weeks, and was looking for the best smartphone option available. Roaming data rates and SMS rates are ridiculously high (best plans are $0.80 / MB, and $0.75 / message). Beyond AT&T and Verizon Prepaid, are there any other options? (I'm on an iPhone 4 so GSM is a must.) I assume in the US, I have no credit history for which to qualify for a plan, and a contract is obviously out of the question. Data and SMS are the only important things, with a few hundred minutes being plenty. I'm only planning on being in the US for 2 or 3 weeks, but mainly in rural areas (US Route 101) so large (3G) coverage is important."

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Arrest In $740M NYC Time and Attendance System Case
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's psst-your-power-trip-is-showing department:
theodp writes "Mayor Bloomberg's perception of money, opines Gothamist's Christopher Robbins, is somewhat different than most non-billionaires. Just hours before the leader in the city's $740 million CityTime web-based time and attendance boondoggle was arrested for allegedly taking $5M in kickbacks, Bloomberg said on his weekly radio program that 'we actually did a pretty good job here, in retrospect.' Overshooting the projected $68M it would cost, adds Robbins, 'pretty much sounds like the exact opposite of a 'pretty good job'.' A US Attorney said SAIC Project Manager Gerald Denault was charged with accepting more than $5M in kickbacks laundered through international shell companies while steering more than $450M of city funds to the tech company behind the kickbacks. In December, CityTime consultants were charged with stealing $80 million."

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RMS Cancels Lectures In Israel
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tunes-called-by-piper-payers department:
Eesh writes "Globes and Haaretz report that Stallman cancelled his plans for lecturing in Israeli universities as part of a visit to the Palestinian Authority, due to threats by the Palestinian organizers that they won't be paying for his trip if he does so. Globes write: 'Stallman was scheduled to visit Israel in July and to speak at Haifa University, Tel Aviv University and Shenkar College. The Palestinians initiated the visit, but when they understood that Stallman would also be speaking at Israeli universities they told him they would no longer fund the trip. In response, Stallman announced that he would cancel the speaking engagements in Israel, and would be satisfied with visiting the Palestinian Authority regions only.'" Here's the email from RMS and response from the Israeli organizer. Hopefully RMS will brush off being named "Linux founder" by Haaretz.

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Time Lapse Video of the VLT In Chile
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's industrial-light-and-magic department:
schwit1 writes with a video "captured by Stephane Guisard and Jose Francisco Salgado at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile's Atacama Desert. And it might make you cry. What makes this time lapse particularly amazing — because we've all seen plenty of time lapse videos of the night sky — is the four telescopes in the foreground. Watching these instruments work against a black background would be endlessly fascinating on its own. Unfortunately you won't be able to pay them too much attention. Because damn, what a sky."

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Amazon and Barnes & Noble Jostle Over Battery Life Figures for Nook, Kindle
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's they-last-forever-in-heaven department:
destinyland writes "Amazon just doubled the reported battery life for their Kindle digital readers — but they did it by cutting the estimated daily usage in half. Monday Amazon's competitor Barnes and Noble released a new touch-screen version of their Nook reader, and C|Net notes that apparently Amazon 'took issue with how its competitor was calculating and presenting its battery life numbers.' When Barnes and Noble claimed that the Nook's charge lasted twice as long based on a half hour a day of usage, Amazon simply recalculated the Kindle's battery life using the same formula. By Wednesday, Barnes and Noble was insisting that the Nook's charge still lasted twice as long as the Kindle's. 'If that's true, then Barnes and Noble mangled the launch of their touch-screen Nook,' reports one Kindle blog, 'by botching their description of one of its main selling points.'"

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Martin Jetpack Climbs 5000 Feet Above Sea Level
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's flying-for-dummies department:
rh2600 writes "For years the Martin Jetpack has stayed just a few feet off the ground, invoking frequent suspicion about its true abilities. Well, today that all changed [video] with the first climb test in New Zealand (with weighted crash-test dummy) reaching over 5,000 feet above sea level. The emergency parachute test was also a success. Kiwis can indeed fly."

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Samsung Wants To See iPhone 5 and iPad 3
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's i-tit-for-i-tat department:
tekgoblin writes "The suit against Samsung that Apple filed back in April has been full of surprises recently; Apple even asked to see some of Samsung's future devices. Now, Samsung is requesting to view Apple's upcoming devices such as the iPad 3 and iPhone 5."

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Twitter Reveals User Details In UK Libel Case
Posted by News Fetcher on May 29 '11 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's phrase-your-subpoena-in-140-chars-or-less department:
whoever57 writes "In a case that could have implications for the Ryan Giggs affair, Twitter revealed user details in response to a legal action filed in San Mateo county, CA by lawyers representing South Tyneside council. The alleged libel refers to critical comments made via Twitter. It is possible that one of the people making the critical comments is one of the council members."

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Japan's MagLev Gets Go Ahead
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 10:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's arise-commuters-of-japan-arise department:
ThinkPad760 writes "The Japanese government has finally given approval to build the long awaited MagLev train linking Tokyo and Osaka via Nagoya. But don't hold your breath. Construction will start in 2014. The Tokyo Nagoya section will be completed in 2027 with the final section to Osaka complete by 2045. I was hoping my wife could buy me a ticket as my retirement present, but looks like I have a wait a couple of years after that."

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Cleaning Up Japan's Radioactive Mess With Blue Goo
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 09:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's if-only-it-could-also-bounce department:
InfiniteZero writes "A clever technology is helping hazmat crews in Japan contain and clean up the contamination caused by the ongoing nuclear disaster there: a blue liquid that hardens into a gel that peels off of surfaces, taking microscopic particles like radiation and other contaminants with it. Known as DeconGel, Japanese authorities are using it inside and outside the exclusion zone on everything from pavement to buildings."

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Malware Scanner Finds 5% of Windows PCs Infected
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's is-this-an-adequate-sample? department:
BogenDorpher writes "According to statistics generated by Microsoft's new free malware scanning and scrubbing tool, Safety Scanner, one in every twenty Windows PCs are infected with malware. Microsoft's Safety Scanner was downloaded 420,000 times in just one week of availability and it cleaned up malware or signs of exploitation from more than 20,000 Windows PCs, according to statistics generated by Microsoft's Malware Protection Center. This resulted in an infection rate of nearly 5%." That seems an awfully low number, based on how quickly Windows machines are scanned for plunder after going online; though it's a few years old, here's a report that suggests (as of 2007, at least) a grace period of less than 10 seconds. That was just one instance, and an intentionally vulnerable machine, but have improvements in security software software, and in Windows itself, made things so much better since then?

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Paul Allen's Lawsuit Patents To Be Reexamined
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's well-lookie-here department:
eldavojohn writes "Last year Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen filed suit against eleven tech companies citing patent infringement on four of his patents. Groklaw has followed up with some interesting documents that reveal three out of the four have already been granted a reexamination by the USPTO with the fourth still pending."

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FDA Sued To Stop Antibiotic Abuse On Factory Farms
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-superbugs-are-super department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Medical groups from the American Medical Association to the American Society of Microbiology have appealed to the government and industry for years to restrict the practice of providing sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics for livestock, lest critical antibiotics become useless for human treatments. Now Tom Laskawy reports that a coalition of environmental groups has decided to sue the Federal Drug Administration to follow its own safety findings and withdraw approval for most non-therapeutic uses of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed to healthy livestock when it's not medically necessary. 'While this may cause eyerolls among some who look at this as "just another lawsuit," there's something very important going on with the courts and contested science right now,' writes Laskawy. 'As it happens, one of the main roles of a judge is as "finder of fact." In practice, this means that judges determine whether scientific evidence is compelling enough to force government action."'"

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Discovery of Water In Moon May Alter Origin Theory
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheese-content-up-for-negotiation department:
MarkWhittington writes "Scientists, working on a NASA grant, have made another startling discovery concerning water on the Moon. It seems that the interior of the Moon has far more water in it than previously thought — as much as the Earth does, apparently. Researchers made this discovery by examining samples of volcanic glass brought back to Earth by the Apollo 17 astronauts. These tiny beads of glass have about 750 parts per million of water in them: about the same amount as similar volcanic glass on Earth. It is postulated that more water than previously imagined exists deep below the lunar surface and was brought up and trapped in these crystalline beads by volcanic action billions of years ago." Phil Plait's original post adds more detail.

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Duplicate RSA Keys Enable Lockheed Martin Network Intrusion
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's nobody's-perfect department:
An anonymous reader writes "Unknown hackers have broken into the security networks of Lockheed Martin Corp and several other US military contractors, a source with direct knowledge of the attacks told Reuters. They breached security systems designed to keep out intruders by creating duplicates to 'SecurID' electronic keys from EMC Corp's RSA security division, said the person who was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter." There's also coverage at PC Magazine.

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KDE 4.7 – a First Look At Beta 1
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's longevity-and-maturiity department:
A few days ago, the KDE project shipped the first beta of the upcoming 4.7 release. Reader dmbkiwi submits a link to a rundown of what 4.7 looks like, snipping from which: "Previously it was Gnome that was the steady plodder making minor incremental changes through the 2.x series, building stability and only adding minor features. However, with the recent releases of both Gnome Shell and the Unity desktop on Ubuntu, the Gnome/Ubuntu side of the desktop linux equation has made radical and controversial steps away from the well loved Gnome 2.x series, leaving KDE 4.x as the 'steady as she goes' option."

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NASA Sting Busts Woman Selling Purported Moon Rock
Posted by News Fetcher on May 28 '11 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-her-perfect-right department:
sgcxf949 writes "Woman attempts to sell a moon rock and gets busted by NASA. Who would have thought that NASA had undercover agents?" Evidently not the subject of this story, who offered to trade her sample of alleged lunar rock for $1.7 million.

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