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Places With the Most Wikipedia Articles
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's targeting-knowledge department:
Trepidity writes "Wikipedia has been making an effort to mark up articles with latitude-longitude coordinates when they refer to a specific location. It's now been done for over a million articles (across all languages). I was curious which parts of the world have gotten the most coverage. The answer: Florence, Italy has the most articles within a 1-km-diameter circle; and London tops both the 10-km and 100-km lists. Full results and methodology details are available."

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The Future of Shopping
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's push-button-receive-pellet department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that a new device, now in use at about half of Ahold USA's Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets in the Northeast, is making supermarket shoppers — and stores — happier. Looking like a smartphone, perched on the handle of your shopping cart, it scans grocery items as you add them to your cart. And while shoppers like it because it helps avoid an interminable wait at the cashier, retailers like it because the device encourages shoppers to buy more, probably because of targeted coupons and the control felt by consumers while using the device. Retail experts predict that before long most of these mobile shopping gadgets will be supplanted by customers' own smartphones. As more customers load their smartphones with debit, credit and loyalty card information, more stores will adopt streamlined checkout technology."

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Fable III Dev: Used Game Sales More Costly Than Piracy
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's granting-a-license-to-temporarily-rent department:
eldavojohn writes "A developer working for Lionhead, the studio behind Fable III, told Eurogamer that piracy is 'less problematic' than used game sales, from a business perspective. Mike West, the lead combat designer for the latest Fable, said, 'For us it's probably a no-lose even with piracy as it is. But, as I say, second-hand sales cost us more in the long-run than piracy these days.' So downloading a game is bad, but apparently stopping by a second-hand store to pick up a licensed physical copy of the game ends up hurting them even more."

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New Bill Ups Punishment For Hosts of Infringing Video Streams
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's legality-is-in-the-eye-of-the-rightsholder department:
halfEvilTech writes
"Two months ago, the Obama administration asked Congress to make illicit online streaming of copyrighted movies and TV shows a felony. Such a bill has now been introduced by two senators. 'Online streamers can now face up to five years in prison and a fine in cases where: They show 10 or more "public performances" by electronic means in any 180-day period; and the total retail value of those performances tops $2,500 or the cost of licensing such performances is greater than $5,000.'"

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Intel Shifts Might To Mobile
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's keeping-up-with-the-jobses department:
CWmike writes "After years of dominance in computer chips, Intel now is chasing the mobile chip market and trying to redefine its future. During Intel's financial analyst meeting Monday, CEO Paul Otellini announced that he is refocusing the company, moving its 'center' from PC processors to processors for the burgeoning mobile market. 'I think Intel recognizes that they absolutely have to get a win here,' said analyst Rob Enderle. 'All the activity is in mobile. A post-PC era would be a post-Intel era if they don't get a beachhead established.' Earlier this month, Intel made a move in this new direction when it unveiled its new 3D transistor technology that is expected to position the chip maker to grab a piece of the mushrooming tablet market."

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Six Cities Named For Vehicle2Vehicle Communications Trial
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's skynet-taxi-service department:
thecarchik writes "We all know about the growing popularity of collision avoidance systems. As recently as this week, we've even heard about developments on the autonomous car front. Problem is, most of those systems depend on vehicles going it alone, using radar and other technology to avoid hazards in their way. But what if cars could talk to one another and the surrounding infrastructure? Wouldn't that be even better — and safer? The US Department of Transportation thinks so, and it's hoping to prove it in a new series of 'talking car' experiments taking place in six locales across the US. These technologies may potentially address up to 82 percent of crash scenarios with unimpaired drivers, preventing tens of thousands of vehicle crashes every year (further research [PDF] will incorporate heavy vehicle crashes including buses, motor carriers, and rail)."

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Apple Support Forums Suggest Malware Explosion
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's macpocalypse-is-nigh department:
dotwhynot writes "According to ZDNet, the volume of in-the-wild malware reports on discussions.apple.com is truly exceptional. With the launch of the first malware DIY kit for OSX earlier this month, and now this, has the malware industry threat finally caught up with the growth of Apple, and what do Mac users need to do?"

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Social Influence and the Wisdom of Crowd Effect
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's none-of-us-are-as-dumb-as-all-of-us department:
formfeed writes "A lot has been written lately on the crowd effect and the wisdom of crowds. But for those of us who are doubtful, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has published a study showing how masses can become dumber: social influence. While previous studies show how groups of people can come up with remarkably accurate results, it seems 'even mild social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect in simple estimation tasks.' Social influence 'diminishes the diversity of the crowd without improvements of its collective error.' In short, crowd intelligence only works in cases where the opinion of others is hidden."

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Kaspersky Calls For 'Internet Interpol'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's we'll-get-right-on-that department:
angry tapir writes "With cybercrime now the second largest criminal activity in the world, measures such as the creation of an 'Internet Interpol' and better cooperation between international law enforcement agencies are needed if criminals are to be curtailed in the future, Kaspersky Labs founder and security expert Eugene Kaspersky has argued. He said, 'We were talking about that 10 years ago and almost nothing has happened. Sooner or later we will have one. I am also talking about Internet passports and having an online ID. Some countries are introducing this idea, so maybe in 15 years we will all have it.'"

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US Government Recognizes, Funds Video Games As Art
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's sorry-roger department:
Kilrah_il writes "The National Endowment for the Arts recently published their criteria for next year's Arts in Media grants. One of the key changes is the inclusion of video games as works of art. 'Projects may include high profile multi-part or single television and radio programs (documentaries and dramatic narratives); media created for theatrical release; performance programs; artistic segments for use within an existing series; multi-part webisodes; installations; and interactive games. Short films, five minutes and under, will be considered in packages of three or more.' For those who worry that game companies will try to get a grant for a commercial game, notice that the grant is only for non-profit organizations."

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Local Atmosphere Heated Rapidly Before Japan Quake
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's shake-and-bake department:
eldavojohn writes "A new paper presented at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland shows the rapid heating of the atmosphere directly above the fault days before the devastating earthquake hit. This is theorized to be the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism that occurs when large amounts of radon are released due to massive stress in the fault right before the quake. This can be detected with satellites analyzing infrared waves: 'The radioactivity from this gas ionizes the air on a large scale and this has a number of knock on effects. Since water molecules are attracted to ions in the air, ionization triggers the large scale condensation of water. But the process of condensation also releases heat and it is this that causes infrared emissions.' This is a shift from the Haiti earthquake where DEMETER was used to monitor ultra low frequencies. The presence of radon could also possibly explain erratic wildlife behavior prior to an earthquake."

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Man Demonstrates His New Bionic Hand
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-named-luke department:
digitaldc writes with this excerpt from the BBC:
"Last year, Patrick, a 24-year-old Austrian, decided to have his dysfunctional hand amputated and replaced with a bionic hand. He lost the use of his left hand after being electrocuted at work. Here he demonstrates the extra movement his new bionic hand has given him, opening a bottle and tying his shoelaces, and tests a prototype hand which will give him additional wrist movement."

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US Preserves Smallpox For Defense
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's it's-not-mine-i-swear department:
lee1 writes "The US is preserving the last remaining known strains of smallpox in case they are needed to develop bio-warfare 'countermeasures' and as a hedge against possible outbreaks in a population with no natural immunity. 451 specimens are stored in Atlanta at the Centers for Disease Control, and 120 strains at the Russian Vector laboratory in Siberia. Meanwhile, the government has contracted to pay almost $3 billion to procure 14 million smallpox vaccination doses."

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Robots Successfully Invent Their Own Language
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's killall-humans department:
An anonymous reader writes "One group of Australian researchers have managed to teach robots to do something that, until now, was the reserve of humans and a few other animals: they've taught them how to invent and use spoken language. The robots, called LingoDroids, are introduced to each other. In order to share information, they need to communicate. Since they don't share a common language, they do the next best thing: they make one up. The LingoDroids invent words to describe areas on their maps, speak the word aloud to the other robot, and then find a way to connect the word and the place, the same way a human would point to themselves and speak their name to someone who doesn't speak their language."

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PSN Up, And Then Down Again
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's go-go-magic-yo-yo department:
RdeCourtney writes "The PlayStation Network is down again. Sony had originally enabled passwords to be reset onscreen simply by entering an email address and date of birth. Whoever has the data from Sony, could, in theory, then reset any of the captured users accounts simply by entering the details they stole."

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Microsoft: One In 14 Downloads Is Malicious
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's wonder-where-they-surf department:
alphadogg writes "About one out of every 14 programs downloaded by Windows users
turns out to be malicious, Microsoft said Tuesday. And even though Microsoft has a feature in its Internet Explorer browser designed to steer users away from unknown and potentially untrustworthy software, about 5% of users ignore the warnings and download malicious Trojan horse programs anyway. IE also warns users when they're being tricked into visiting malicious websites, another way that social-engineering hackers can infect computer users. In the past two years, IE's SmartScreen has blocked more than 1.5 billion Web and download attacks, according to Jeb Haber, program manager lead for SmartScreen."


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When AIM Was Our Facebook
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's something-to-think-about department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Gizmodo reports that there was a stretch of time in the 90s and early 00s when AOL was a social requisite. "Everyone had an AIM handle," write Adrian Covert and Sam Biddle. "You didn't have to worry about who used what. Saying "what's your screenname" was tantamount to asking for someone's number—everyone owned it, everyone used it, it was simple, and it worked." When we all finally got broadband, it was always on and your friends were always right there on your buddy list, around the clock. AIM was the first time that it felt like we had presences online, making it normal, for the first time ever, to make public what you were doing. "Growing up with AIM, it became more than just a program we used. It turned into a culture all its own—long before we realized we'd been living it.""

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Hack Targets NASA's Earth Observation System
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's even-nasa-ain't-safe department:
Gunkerty Jeb writes "A hacker is claiming that a security hole in a server at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has exposed data related to a satellite-based Earth observation system used to aid in disaster relief. The hacker, who uses the handle 'Tinkode' has published a screen capture from what he claims is an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) server at NASA's Goddard Center. The hack comes exactly a month after the same hacker exposed a similar hole in a server operated by the European Space Agency."

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Coffee Wards Off Cancer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 05:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thats-my-excuse department:
Thorfinn.au writes "A new study indicates that heavy coffee drinking staves off deadly prostate cancer in men. Some 47,911 US men were surveyed over the period 1986 to 2008 for the research. During this time some 5,035 of them developed prostate cancer with 642 dying of it. According to analysis by investigating scientists, men who drank the most coffee (a fairly normal six-plus cups per day) had a 20 per cent lower risk of developing any kind of prostate cancer. If they did get prostate cancer, the java-swillers were much less likely to die from it than others: their risk of deadly prostate cancer was no less than 60 per cent lower than normal. Even less thirsty coffee drinkers who only put away one to three cups daily saw their chance of deadly prostate cancer fall by a useful 30 per cent."

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Judge Orders Former San Francisco Admin Terry Childs To Pay $1.5M
Posted by News Fetcher on May 18 '11 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's rough-justice department:
0WaitState writes " A judge Tuesday ordered a former city worker who locked San Francisco out of its main computer network for 12 days in 2008 to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution, prosecutors said.' Keep in mind the network never went down and no user services were denied, and given that Terry Childs was the only one who had admin access (for years prior) it is difficult to understand how they came up in $1.5 million in costs, unless they're billing Terry Childs for the City's own failure to set up division of responsibility and standby emergency access procedures?"

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