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Belgian ISP Ordered to Block The Pirate Bay; Telecomix and TPB Offer Workarounds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's when-will-politicians-learn department:
bs0d3 writes "Today a court ruling in Belgium over-ruled an earlier court ruling and is ordering an ISP to block The Pirate Bay. It's been announced that the type of block to be used by the ISP is a simple DNS filter which is similar to ones used before in Denmark. In Denmark, the dns block was extremely easy to circumvent and the attention to The Pirate Bay actually increased Danish site traffic after the block. Today an hacktivist group called Telecomix; which is more recently known for helping to establish communications during the Internet blackout in Egypt, is offering their help. Their custom made 'censorship proof' DNS service is designed for situations just like this. ISP customers facing a block can simply use Telecomix's DNS server instead of the ISP provided one to access blocked sites such as The Pirate Bay."

The Pirate Bay also has suggestions for getting around the DNS block.

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Spock Gives Up the Con
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's retire-long-and-prosper department:
tverbeek writes "Leonard Nimoy announced at the Creation Con in Chicago, celebrating the 45th anniversary of Star Trek, that this would be his last appearance at a Trek convention. He spoke for an hour, which at least suggests that he's making this move by choice and not out of necessity. He's 80 years old. 'Live long and prosper,' he told the crowd."

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SAIC Loses Data of 4.9 Million Patients
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's keep-them-tapes-safe department:
An anonymous reader writes "Government contractor SAIC just can't seem to get a break. Still fresh off of the Citytime scandal they have now had a data breach where backup tapes of 4.9 Million personnel health records were stolen from an employee's car. To add insult to injury, evidently the tapes were not encrypted either: 'Tricare did not indicate whether SAIC encrypted the information on the stolen tapes, but Raley said, "It's very hard to encrypt a backup tape."'"

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Airline Offering Plane Crash Survival Course to Frequent Flyers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's survivor-class-seating department:
British Airways is giving their best customers a competitive edge in the event of disaster by offering a course on surviving a plane crash. Beginning next year, members of the airline's Executive Club can cash in air miles to take the four-hour safety class. From the article: "Andy Clubb, the BA manager running the course, told the Independent: 'It makes passengers safer when travel ling by giving additional skills and information, it dispels all those internet theories about the brace position, and it just gives people so much more confidence in flying.'"

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OCaml For the Masses
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cue-up-the-language-bigots department:
CowboyRobot writes "Yaron Minsky of Jane Street argues that the time has come for statically-typed functional languages like OCaml and Haskell. He cites many reasons and illustrates what he says is the most important, concision: 'The importance of concision is clear: other things being equal, shorter code is easier to read, easier to write, and easier to maintain.'"

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News From Apple's iPhone Event
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Unknown Lamer from Slashdot's lots-and-lots-of-flavorful-apples department:
Apple is currently announcing various things about a new iPhone; the CNN Live has coverage as it is happening. Watch for updates as more information comes in. PC Magazine is^W was running a live commentary stream (it broke). The New York Times has a working live stream for those of you who like to read instead of watch.

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China's Alibaba Interested In Buying Yahoo
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-they'll-have-cuter-jingles department:
jfruhlinger writes "Alibaba is a company that most Americans probably haven't heard of, but it's a hugely important Internet player in China, owning the Yahoo! China site as well as a host of other marketplace Websites. It's 40 percent owned by Yahoo, but now, in what seems a bit like a snake eating its own tail, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma has declared his interest in buying the embattled Internet portal outright." The San Francisco Chronicle has a Bloomberg News article with more details; they report that Alibaba is actually one of three parties looking into a joint bid for Yahoo, the others being the equity firm Silver Lake and Russian tech investor Digital Sky Technologies.

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One More Thing For Apple Stores: Food?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's durn-good-idea department:
mattnyc99 writes "Esquire raises an interesting question on iPhone 5 day: What if Apple stores had cafes? From an analyst cited in the article: 'In line with the Genius Bar concept, I could see them taking a part of the store and making it a café atmosphere where customers could interact with technology in a relaxed environment.'"

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For Academic Publishing, Princeton Goes Open Access By Default
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's congratulations-and-kudos department:
First time accepted submitter crazyvas writes "Princeton University will prevent researchers from giving the copyright of scholarly articles to journal publishers (except if a waiver is requested). The new rule is part of an Open Access policy aimed at broadening the reach of their scholarly work and encouraging publishers to adjust standard contracts that commonly require exclusive copyright as a condition of publication. Universities pay millions of dollars a year for academic journal subscriptions. People without subscriptions are often prevented from reading taxpayer funded research. This is a bold first step in changing the face of how research (especially when taxpayer funded) works in the country, and a step towards weakening the current culture of charging increasingly exorbitant prices to view academic research publications."

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Is Off-Shoring a National Security Threat?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's never-buy-outside-your-zip-code department:
An anonymous reader writes "Should the U.S. government hold developers more responsible for the quality of their code? One top cyber security analyst says more regulations would be a mistake. 'Any attempt to regulate software quality and security simply drives the software industry off-shore for good,' he says. 'Similarly, requiring trusted on-shore production ensures two things: (1) falling behind world progress as we aren't the only smart people and we are a minority, and (2) costs rise in a way that makes on-shore-mandated software cost-uncompetitive on the world market.'"

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Ask Slashdot: Advice For Using a Cell Phone In China?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's speak-loud-so-everyone-understands department:
First time accepted submitter Oyjord writes "I am going to China in March, and I was curious what kind of cell phone hardware and plans American travelers use while there. I honestly don't like cell phones (and I currently use the Drug Dealer Throwaway Special Du Jour) but I thought I'd look into one with a good data plan, so I could perhaps take pics and upload them on the spot, and perhaps use the phone's internal GPS as opposed to taking my Garmin along, etc." (Note: it would be great if you include in your answers some idea about their currency — if you're in China right now, say, or if you were there more than a year ago.)

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So Far, More Than 50,000 Kindle Fire Pre-Orders Per Day
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 06:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's any-3-points-on-a-circle department:
An anonymous reader writes "Leaked screens from Amazon's internal stock monitoring and assignment system (Alaska) has revealed just how popular the Kindle Fire tablet is already. In just 5 days of being up for pre-order there have been 250,000 reserved. That's more than 50,000 per day or 2,000 sold every hour. If that continues to launch day Amazon will need to have 2.5 million ready to ship to meet demand. To put that in context, the original iPad managed to ship 1 million in its first month."
The key phrase seems to be "if this level of consumer demand continues" — but given the success of the e-ink Kindle line, that might not be crazy. Do you want one, or not?

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Deadline Approaches For Registration In Stanford's Free CS Classes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's student-lounge-use-not-included department:
First time accepted submitter Gastrobot writes "Stanford University is offering some computer science classes for free. This has been discussed here twice before. The classes begin on Oct. 10th. At this point in time I'm aware of Stanford offering an Intro to Databases course, an Intro to AI course, and a Machine Learning course."

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Zune Dead, Then Not Dead, Then Officially Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-that's-longevity department:
UnknowingFool writes "On Monday Microsoft updated webpages to announce a price drop for the Zune pass subscription, it removed all references to the Zune hardware. This prompted many to suspect the Zune was dead. A MS spokesman then tweeted that the updates were in error and the Zune was not dead. Then MS later admitted that they will no longer produce hardware but would honor any existing orders. It appears MS has trouble with managing their PR."

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Borders Books Customers, Watch For Database Opt-Out Email
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you'd-think-opt-in-would-be-more-polite department:
An anonymous reader writes "That email you might be getting from Barnes and Noble might not be spam, but rather your only chance to prevent the comprehensive record of your buying history at defunct arch-rival Border's from ending up in B&N's data warehouse. You have15 days after the email arrives, assuming that it ever does, since chances are the email address you originally signed up with Borders is long gone." For that very reason, this sounds like a good place for the terms of the bankruptcy to require opting in, rather than opting out.

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Inside ICS-CERT's War Room
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's general-mckittrick's-around-somewhere department:
itwbennett writes "When Stuxnet first appeared in July 2010, the U.S. response was gathered at the ICS-CERT facilities at Idaho National Labs (INL). 'This is the classified building where phones will start ringing should the next Stuxnet show up, and home to staffers who specialize in IT and industrial systems,' said Robert McMillan, who was invited to attend a training exercise run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and INL. 'It's small — there were just four analysts there on Thursday — but it looks like the security operations centers you see big companies such as Cisco and Symantec: people sitting in front of computers, with a big screen showing a real time feed of any situations that need to be handled.'"

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Should Science Be King In Politics?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's instead-of-the-court-jester department:
Layzej writes "According to former Republican representative Bob Inglis, being conservative means dealing in facts. He suggests that energy and climate policy warrants a conservative approach based on science and accountability, rather than a populist approach based on denial and wishful thinking. He also proposes an intriguing free market solution to our energy and climate challenges."

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id Software Releases RAGE
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's back-in-the-post-apocalyptic-saddle department:
Today marks the launch of RAGE, id Software's post-apocalyptic first-person shooter that's been in development for at least four years. Early response to the game is mixed, but mostly positive. Eurogamer wrote, "This certainly isn't a video game like the ones we're used to playing in 2011, smothered in celebrity voice actors and shoulder-grabbingly intense expository cut-scenes, and varnished by psychologists so we never look in the wrong direction when we're sprinting away from a set-piece. Instead it's something simpler and more old-fashioned. Judged on game design and content, then, it's slightly anachronistic, but as a toy box full of things you can only do in games, RAGE is warm-hearted and refreshing." The review at Opposable Thumbs was much more critical, saying, "None of the game's ideas are thought out or fully explored, so the game feels like a series of dead ends in a world that is hard to care about, in which you play a bland character doing boring things against stock enemies using weak guns." If you'd like to see a look at the actual gameplay, Giant Bomb has a lengthy video with commentary.

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Anti-Piracy PI Talks About Building Cases Against File-Sharers
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '11 at 12:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's full-clips-and-blank-cdrs department:
An anonymous reader writes "Torrent Freak has an interesting interview with a former private investigator who was hired to track people who pirated software and movies. He relates some of the tactics used to make evidence more appealing to police, the media and lawmakers. He said, 'We discussed the formula for extrapolating the potential street value earnings of "laboratories" and we were instructed to count all blank discs in our seizure figures as if they were potential product. Mr. Gane also explained that the increased loss approximation figures were derived from all forms of impacts on decreasing cinema patronage right through to the farmer who grows the corn for popping.' Regarding the head of AFACT, the article notes, 'Gane understood that the media was an essential tool towards AFACT's goal of getting tougher copyright legislation in place. And for this purpose, it was a good idea to bend the truth a bit.'"

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Adapteva Announces Epiphany Mesh Processor
Posted by News Fetcher on October 03 '11 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-dog-in-the-fight department:
MojoKid writes "A new company, Adapteva, has announced its own entry into the field of many core, mesh-connected processors. The company's Epiphany architecture is an array of simple, RISC-based microprocessors. Each processor contains ALU and FPU units, 32K of SRAM cache and each processor node incorporates a router. Nodes communicate with each other via mesh networking. The implementation is capable of scaling up to a 64x64 array (4,096 processors). Adapteva claims that Epiphany is capable of delivering unprecedented performance per watt, with a 16-core array offering up to 19Gflops at 270mW on a 28nm process."

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