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Atari C&Ds Emulators, Site About Asteroids
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's screaming-into-the-abyss department:
An anonymous reader writes "Atari Inc. has launched another round of cease-and-desist letters targeted at what remains of its fan community. Having threatened homebrewers for the Atari 2600 and 8-bit systems, as well as emulator authors for mobile platforms like Android, they're now upping the ante by menacing Atari emulator authors on the Dreamcast and sites with Asteroids in the name (though in fairness, that site apparently once hosted a version of the Asteroids game). The working theory is that the company is planning a big push into the mobile market, and is trying to eliminate everything it believes could threaten its latest attempts at reviving the brand name. However, the emulators in question appear to have no copyrighted content from Atari, so it's unclear what exactly Atari believes the infringing material to be."

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Biological 'Logic Circuit' Destroys Cancer Cells
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-don't-teach-them-how-to-hate department:
intellitech writes "Researchers led by ETH professor Yaakov Benenson and MIT professor Ron Weiss have successfully incorporated diagnostic biological information processing in human cells. In a study recently published in Science (abstract), they describe a multi-gene synthetic 'logic circuit' whose task is to distinguish between cancer and healthy cells, and subsequently target cancer cells for destruction. This circuit works by sampling and integrating five intracellular, cancer-specific molecular factors and their concentration. The circuit makes a positive identification only when all factors are present in the cell, resulting in highly precise cancer detection. Researchers hope it can serve a basis for very specific anti-cancer treatments."

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Canadian Court Sides With Online Anonymity
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's probably-protecting-his-anti-bruins-rants department:
bs0d3 writes "Michael Geist said of a recent Canadian court ruling, 'Anonymous speech can be empowering — whistleblowers depend upon it to safeguard their identity and political participants in some countries face severe repercussions if they speak out publicly — but it also carries the danger of posts that cross the line into defamation without appropriate accountability.' Although I disagree that defamation is an acceptable reason for a court to find someone's identity, the outcome of this trial seems favorable. The court was not asked to determine whether the posts at issue were in fact defamatory. Rather, it simply faced the question of whether it should order the disclosure of personal information about the posters themselves so that someone could proceed with a defamation lawsuit. The court relied on 'Warman v. Fournier,' a previous Canadian defamation case and asked, '(1) Whether there was a reasonable expectation of anonymity; (2) Whether the plaintiff established a prima facie case of wrongdoing by the poster; (3) Whether the plaintiff tried to identify the poster and was unable to do so; and (4) Whether the public interest favoring disclosure outweigh the legitimate interests of freedom of expression and right to privacy of the persons sought to be identified if the disclosure is ordered." In this case the order to identify the poster was denied. Since the plaintiff did not identify the specific defamatory words, she failed to establish a prima facie case of defamation. Moreover, the court also ruled that the posters had a reasonable expectation of anonymity and that there were insufficient efforts to try to identify them."

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Mr. President, There Is No (US) Engineer Shortage
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-a-philosophy-major-surplus department:
McGruber writes "Vivek Wadhwa has written an article in the Washington Post titled, 'Mr. President, there is no engineer shortage,' which addresses the perceived national shortage of engineers. Wadhwa slams China for its practice of applying the 'engineer' label to auto mechanics and technicians, yet fails to slam the US for its practice of applying the 'engineer' label to sanitation workers, building janitors, boiler operators, FaceSpace coders, MSCEs and DeVry graduates. He also says, 'Some of [the U.S.'s] best engineers are not doing engineering, and some of its best potential engineers are not even studying engineering, leaving us short-changed in solving the important problems of the day.'"

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Man Becomes Artist When He Sleeps
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's talented-dreamer department:
During the day 37-year-old Lee Hadwin is a nurse with no particular love or talent for art, but when he sleeps it's a different story. Lee has been sleep-drawing since he was 4 and is now quite good. Some of his pieces have sold for six figures. Despite numerous tests, doctors can't explain how he's able to draw and paint while he's not conscious, or even what stage of sleep he's in while he works. From the article: "Still, the North Wales native doesn't want to make art his career. He never studied art, and is lousy at drawing when awake. 'Art has never interested me at all,' says Hadwin, as quoted by the BBC. But just in case, he now prepares by leaving a sketchpad, brushes, and other art supplies in his bedroom."

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WikiLeaks Publishes Cable Archive In Full
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's letting-it-all-hang-out department:
We recently discussed news that WikiLeaks had complained of a password leak which threatened the encryption of unredacted documents contained in the Cablegate archive. Now, reader solanum writes with this update:
"According to the Guardian, 'WikiLeaks has published its full archive of 251,000 secret US diplomatic cables, without redactions, potentially exposing thousands of individuals named in the documents to detention, harm or putting their lives in danger. The move has been strongly condemned by the five previous media partners – the Guardian, New York Times, El Pais, Der Spiegel and Le Monde – who have worked with WikiLeaks publishing carefully selected and redacted documents.' In the same article The Guardian gives further explanation of the controversy reported earlier, suggesting that Assange went against standard protocol in providing the master password to the newspaper."

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Why Microtransactions In Games Are Amoral
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's there-are-good-hats-and-evil-hats department:
Sludge writes "Graham Jans, a founder of the Vancouver Design Dojo and designer of Zombie Minesweeper, provides well-thought-out reasons why microtransactions in games are an amoral concept that can be used for good or evil, defying the typical knee-jerk reaction to Zynga-style use of microtransactions as a cynical tool designed to siphon the maximum amount of money from your wallet. Quoting: 'As well, such a thing could be a tool for benevolence. A developer could tune the length between releases to offer just a little more content for the same price, if they felt that was the right thing to do. In fact, most of the factors in microtransactions work this way. The negative reputation these systems have comes from factors that are tuned to maximize profit and abuse players for their money. But that's not an inherent trait in the system; you could just as easily use it to ensure your own bankruptcy!'"

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Chinese Submersible Planning For Record Dive
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's under-miles-of-water department:
An anonymous reader writes "You may have heard that China sent a manned research sub down to the ocean deep this summer, marking a personal depth record of 5,000 meters (next year it will aim for a world record of 7,000 meters). Here's a story about the sub based on an interview with its designer in Wuxi, China. It's got some interesting new details: the designer had never actually seen a submersible before he set out to build the deepest diving research sub in the world; all the stuff he's built before has ended up in warehouses because the Chinese government only funded technological development, not use."

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NYT Working On 'Magic Mirror' For Bathroom Surfing
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's in-case-you-didn't-have-enough-webcams-by-your-toilet department:
MrSeb writes "If the New York Times Research & Development Lab has its wicked way, you will soon be able to stop taking your mobile computer of choice into the bathroom — and use a 'magic mirror' instead. On average we spend an hour in the bathroom every day, and the magic mirror — which is built from a 'data-bearing' mirror, Microsoft Kinect, and a healthy dollop of ingenuity — is designed to capitalize on that time by letting you surf the web and increase the New York Times' advertising revenue."

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Anonymous Retaliates, Leaks Texas Police Emails
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's messing-with-texas department:
An anonymous reader sends word that hacking group Anonymous has breached servers and accounts belonging to "dozens" of Texas police departments, leaking emails, documents and personal information. They say the attacks are in retaliation for "the arrests of dozens of alleged Anonymous suspects," and were done in solidarity with "the 'Anonymous 16' PayPal LOIC defendants, accused LulzSec member Jake Davis 'Topiary,' protesters arrested during #OpBart actions, Bradley Manning, Stephen Watt, and other hackers and leakers worldwide." Predictably, some of the leaked emails paint an unflattering picture of internal operations at the police departments.

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Age Bias In IT: the Reality Behind the Rumors
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-my-lawn department:
CWmike writes "Is high tech really that tough on older workers, or are they simply not pulling their weight in an industry that never stops innovating? Age bias: Some consider it IT's dirty little secret, or even IT's big open secret. Older workers have been hit harder by the recession. '[Age bias is] something that no [employer] talks about. But it's a reality in tech that if you're 45 years of age and still writing C code or Cobol code and making $150,000 a year, the likelihood is that you won't be employed very long,' says Vivek Wadhwa, who currently holds academic positions at several universities, including UC Berkeley, Duke and Harvard. Wadhwa's observation indicates that age bias is a simplistic label for a complicated set of factors that influence the job prospects for senior tech employees."

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Starz To Pull Content From Netflix
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-movies-for-you department:
tekgoblin writes "Starz plans to remove all of its movies and TV shows from the Netflix streaming library after negotiations failed. Starz, which is owned by John Malone's Liberty Media, said they have ended talks with Netflix to renew a deal that ends February 28th. Netflix stands to lose a large amount of content, as Starz has licenses for first run Sony and Walt Disney movies."

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Details About Raspberry Pi Foundation's $25 PC
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '11 at 02:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's disposable-computing department:
First time accepted submitter salcan writes "There is growing interest surrounding the Raspberry Pi Foundation and their promise of a PC that will cost just $25. We've seen how the OLPC has struggled to deliver a $100 laptop for developing countries, and yet Raspberry Pi is confident in delivering the $25 PC by November this year. Eben Upton, director of the foundation, recently gave a talk at Bletchley Park regarding Educating Programmers, which focused on the thinking behind the $25 PC."

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UK To Get Whitespace Radio
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 11:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-the-ditch department:
judgecorp writes "The UK's telecom regulator Ofcom will approve whitespace radio, allowing systems that use vacant spaces in the TV broadcast spectrum, on the same 'license' exempt basis as Wi-Fi. It is hoped that white space radio will solve the rural broadband crisis in the country. From the article: 'Ofcom hopes for deployments by 2013, putting the UK ahead of other countries, and proposes it be used for a higher-power variant of Wi-Fi as well as for rural broadband connections and machine-to-machine communication.'"

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Astronomers Find Unusual Star
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 09:31 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other department:
First time accepted submitter JoshuaZ writes "Astronomers have found an unusual small star. SDSS J102915+172927 is a small faint star with very little of any elements other than hydrogen or helium. The star's composition is surprising (Pdf) since standard theories of star formation require heavier elements in small stars in order to allow the stars to be heavy enough to come together. Possibly the most unusual aspect of this star is the complete non-detection of lithium which would be expected in a star of this size. The only elements created shortly after the Big Bang were lithium, hydrogen and helium, and the star should have lithium levels much higher since they should correspond closely with the levels believed to have been formed shortly after the Big Bang."

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How Do You Explain Software Development To 2nd Graders?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 08:46 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it's-all-about-the-games department:
First time accepted submitter zimania writes "Being the start of the school year, my kids' teachers invariably ask if any parents have any special skills that they can present to the students. As a software engineer, I'd like to give a presentation to the classes about developing software. The tricky part is making a presentation fun, inspirational, easy enough for 2nd and 4th graders to grasp. Has anybody been brave enough to attempted such a thing? Are there kid-tested prepackaged presentations freely available? Would it be best to present the development of a simple game? Web page? Any advice is welcome."

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"Apache Killer" Web Server Hole Plugged
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 07:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shields-up department:
CWmike writes "The Apache open-source project has patched its Web server software to quash a bug that a denial-of-service (DoS) tool has been exploiting. Apache 2.2.20, released Tuesday, plugs the hole used by an 'Apache Killer' attack tool. On Aug. 24, project developers had promised a fix within 48 hours, then revised the timetable two days later to 24 hours. The security advisory did not explain the delay."

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Portable Microscope Uses Holograms Instead of Lens
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 06:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's discount-medical-supply department:
Zothecula writes "While financial contributions are certainly a great help to health care practitioners in developing nations, one of the things that they really need is rugged, portable, low-cost medical equipment that is compatible with an often-limited local infrastructure. Several such devices are currently under development, such as a battery-powered surgical lamp, a salad-spinner-based centrifuge, and a baby-warmer that utilizes wax. UCLA is now working on another appropriate technology in the form of a small, inexpensive microscope that uses holograms instead of lenses to image what can't be seen by the human eye."

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Lawsuit Claims Windows Phone 7 Spies On Users
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 04:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's stop-looking-at-me department:
jfruhlinger writes "Microsoft wants to emulate the success of the iPhone, but they probably didn't want to follow in Apple's footsteps this way: a class action lawsuit claims that Windows Phone 7 is collecting location data on users, even when they request that it stop. But a look at the internals shows that Microsoft might not be acting as Big Brother-ish as it appears."

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Mars Rover Begins "Whole New Mission"
Posted by News Fetcher on September 01 '11 at 03:16 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's back-to-the-beginning department:
sighted writes "NASA reports that the seemingly-unstoppable robotic geologist Opportunity is finding things at Endeavour crater that it has never seen before, adding new life to a mission that has already been epic. Observations 'suggest that rock exposures on Endeavour's rim date from early in Martian history and include clay minerals that form in less-acidic wet conditions, possibly more favorable for life.' In a teleconference today, one mission scientist compared this new phase of exploration to a 'whole new mission.'"

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