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Pentagon Sets Tone For Future Space Exploration
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
coondoggie writes "It obviously leans heavily on the military's concerns for outer space exploration, but the National Security Space Strategy (PDF) released yesterday by the Department of Defense outlines concerns like protection from space junk and system security that all space travelers in theory would want addressed. The NSSS document emphasizes the Obama administration's desire to protect US space assets and to further commercialize space but also to ensure that the US and international partners have unfettered access to outer space."

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Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
theodp writes "Except for a few odd jobs,' wrote an advice seeker to The Ethicist (NYT, reg. may be required), 'I had been out of work for nine months when I was offered a job setting up an [IT] offshore help desk. Would it be ethical to accept the offer?' Randy Cohen, who pens The Ethicist column for the Times, not only advised the job seeker that it was indeed okay to help co-workers lose their jobs, but also seemed to suggest that it would be unethical for him not to offshore the jobs, saying: 'Some people feel we have a greater ethical duty to those closest to us — our neighbors — but in an era of global trade and travel, that is a recipe for tribalism and its attendant ills.' The job seeker, who noted his father's auto-industry job was outsourced, chose to ignore Cohen's ethics advice — as well as his own wife's — and declined the job out of principle. He continues to seek work. Comments?"

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Hackers Penetrate Nasdaq Computer Networks
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
PatPending tips a Wall Street Journal report claiming that hackers have repeatedly broken into the computer networks of the company running the Nasdaq Stock Exchange."The exchange's trading platform—the part of the system that executes trades—wasn't compromised, these people said. However, it couldn't be determined which other parts of Nasdaq's computer network were accessed. Investigators are considering a range of possible motives, including unlawful financial gain, theft of trade secrets and a national-security threat designed to damage the exchange. The Nasdaq situation has set off alarms within the government because of the exchange's critical role, which officials put right up with power companies and air-traffic-control operations, all part of the nation's basic infrastructure."

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Nearly 100,000 P2P Users Sued In the Past Year
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The avalanche of copyright infringement lawsuits in the United States, mainly against BitTorrent users, are about to hit a dubious milestone. In total 99,924 defendants have been sued in the last 12 months, and new cases are being filed at a rapid rate. Adult companies in particular have embraced the profitable pay-up-or-else scheme where tens of millions of dollars are at stake."Though, as other readers point out, both judges and cable companies are getting tired of the endless subpoenas in P2P porn cases.

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ACLU's Mobile Privacy Developer Challenge
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Privacy groups announced a mobile privacy developer challenge yesterday. The competition, Develop for Privacy, challenges mobile app developers to create tools that help ordinary mobile device users understand and protect their privacy. It's sponsored by the ACLU of Northern California, the ACLU of Washington, and the Tor Project, with the assistance of the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner's Office. Submission deadline is May 31, 2011. The winner will be announced in August 2011 at an event in Las Vegas, coinciding with the DEFCON and Black Hat security conferences."

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Sputnik Moment Or No, Science Fairs Are Lagging
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times is running a story about the response from some high school science teachers to Obama's State of the Union address. It's nice that he wants to celebrate science fair winners, they say, but his obsession with standardized math and reading test scores means they have no time to teach students the fundamentals of how to do science. 'I have so many state standards I have to teach concept-wise, it takes time away from what I find most valuable, which is to have them inquire about the world,' said one teacher."

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Sarah Palin Seeks To Trademark Her Name
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has filed paperwork with the US Patent and Trademark Office in November to trademark her name. On her initial application, Palin listed usage of the trademark for a website featuring information about political issues; and educational and entertainment services, including motivational speaking in the fields of politics, culture, business and values. Legal experts say it is relatively unusual for politicians to formally trademark their names because they are generally not associated with commercially valuable products or services and that trademarking a name is more common for celebrities in the fields of entertainment, fashion or sports. 'Sarah is somebody who is now out of government and pursuing other activities, in particular, speaking engagements ... and it looks like she's looking to protect her name with those activities,' says attorney Claudia Ray."

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Viacom Closes MTV Games
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "The Escapist is reporting that the MTV Games division of Viacom is being closed. After selling off Harmonix for an alleged equivalent of a single Red Lobster Gift Card, it turns out that Viacom's division known as MTV Games has little left on its plate. There's some bickering over missed performance-based payments, and MTV Games failed to secure a publishing deal for all the Rock Band games in Europe — which appeared to be the final nail in the coffin for them."

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UK File-Sharing Lawyers ACS:Law Shut Up Shop Ahead of Court
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 02:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
nk497 writes "Controversial legal firm ACS Law and its sole file-sharing client Media CAT have shut down their businesses, days before a ruling is due in a case they brought to the UK Patent Court. ACS Law is infamous for sending out letters to alleged illegal file sharers, demanding payment and threatening law suits. Now that ACS has a case before a judge, it's trying to drop the cases, and has now completely closed its doors. The defendants' lawyers are trying to keep the case going, in order to be able to claim back costs." That sounds right in line with other recent ACS happenings, from getting upbraided by a judge to being blacklisted by an ISP, and even putting the brakes on the file-sharing cases themselves.

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Mozilla Announces Game On Competition Winners
Posted by News Fetcher on February 05 '11 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla has announced the winners of the Game On competition, a contest designed to encourage the development of games based on web technologies. In the various competition categories Far 7 won Best Technology, Sketchout won Best Aesthetics, Favimon won Most Original, Websnooker won Most Polished, and Robots Are People Too won Most Fun. Z-Type won the Community Choice category and Marble Run won Best Web-iness and Best Overall."

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Google's Search Copying Accusation Called 'Silly'
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Google's Bing sting, reported in Slashdot just days ago and subsequently denied by Microsoft, is now being called 'silly' and 'petty' by search industry analysts and execs. The reason: it would be impossible for Microsoft to use the copied results to reverse engineer Google's search algorithms. And in fact it is more likely that Microsoft was conducting competitive research. Charlene Li, founder of technology research and advisory firm Altimeter Group, saw Google's actions as a misguided response to a real threat from a competitor in its core search business. 'Google isn't used to having competition. You look at this incident and you wonder why they are doing this. It feels amateurish in a way, a kind of 'they're not playing fair' attitude,' she said."

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Early Hands-On Preview of Dell's Streak 7 Tablet
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 08:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
MojoKid writes "Dell recently started shipping their Streak 7 tablet and it's the highly anticipated big brother of Dell's 5-inch tablet, the Streak 5 that came out in September of 2010. The larger Streak 7 goes up against stiff competition with the likes of Samsung's Galaxy Tab, though the Streak 7 is retailing slightly lower with or without a contract through T-Mobile. Regardless, the Dell Streak 7 offers some pluses over the Galaxy Tab, like its 5MP rear-facing camera, but comes up short in other areas, such as its lower resolution (800X480 )display — versus the Galaxy Tab's 1024x600 display. The Dell Streak 7 also has NVIDIA's Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor under its hood for a rather snappy Android 2.2 experience, as you can see here in this early, hands-on preview of the device. In early benchmark testing, the Streak 7 is looking pretty strong versus the Galaxy Tab, which comes in neck-and-neck with the Streak 7 in Neocore, at around 54 FPS."

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Supernova 2011b Gradually Fading
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The recent stellar explosion known as 'supernova 2011b' is gradually fading after outshining its host galaxy for over a month. The explosion first flared up in early January, and peaked at magnitude 12.9, putting it within the reach of many amateur telescopes. The host galaxy, NGC 2655, lies 64 million light years away, meaning that the star exploded while the dinosaurs still roamed the planet. My own sketches are available at gkastro.tk/."

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Adobe's Reader X Spoils New PDF Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
CWmike writes "Gregg Keizer reports that Adobe's Reader X stymied a recent attack campaign, researchers said Thursday. But they're not sure why. 'I don't want to take anything away from Adobe — after all, a win is a win — but this particular exploit appears to be designed with previous versions of Reader in mind,' said Chris Greamo, who heads the security research lab at Invincea. 'What appears to have happened is that the exploit breaks, but we don't have a good sense if the sandbox was able to contain it.' Reader X, an upgrade issued last year, features a 'sandbox' designed to protect users from PDF exploits. Adobe claimed that a recently-addressed bug in Chrome that lets attackers escape the browser's sandbox was not present in Reader X's sandbox code. Google patched that bug, the first to earn the company's top bug bounty of $3,133, three weeks ago. Adobe said Thursday it will would ship its next regular update for Reader on Tuesday, Feb. 8."

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Piracy Boosts Anime Sales, Says Japanese Government Study
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "A new study seems to confirm what a lot of the Slashdot crowd thinks, and the opposite of what the **AAs say: 'A prestigious economics think-tank of the Japanese government has published a study which concludes that online piracy of anime shows actually increases sales of DVDs. The conclusion stands in sharp contrast with the entertainment industry's claims that "illicit" downloading is leading to billions of dollars in losses worldwide. It also puts the increased anti-piracy efforts of the anime industry in doubt.' More specifically, '(1) YouTube viewing does not negatively affect DVD rentals, and it appears to help raise DVD sales; and (2) although Winny [a popular P2P program in Japan] file sharing negatively affects DVD rentals, it does not affect DVD sales.'"

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Algorithm Contest Aims To Predict Health Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
databuff writes "The April 4 launch of the $3 million Heritage Health Prize has been announced by the Heritage Provider Network, a network of doctors. The competition challenges data hackers to build algorithms that predict who will go to the hospital in the next year, so that preventative action can be taken. An algorithm might find that somebody with diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol is a 90 per cent risk for hospitalization. Knowing this, it might be cheaper for an HMO to enroll them in an exercise program now rather than pay the likely hospital bill. The competition takes the same approach as the $1 million Netflix Prize, but solves a far more significant problem."

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If You Think You Can Ignore IPv6, Think Again
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "Now that the last IPv4 address blocks have been allocated, it's expected to take several months for regional registries to consume all of their remaining regional IPv4 address pool. The IPv6 Forum, a group with the mission to educate and promote the new protocol, says that enabling IPv6 in all ICT environments is not the endgame, but is now a critical requirement for continuity in all Internet business and services. Experts believe that the move to IPv6 should be a board-level risk management concern, equivalent to the Y2K problem or Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. During the late 1990s, technology companies worldwide scoured their source code for places where critical algorithms assumed a two-digit date. This seemingly trivial software development issue was of global concern, so many companies made Y2K compliance a strategic initiative. The transition to IPv6 is of similar importance. If you think you can ignore IPv6, think again."

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Giant Archaeological Trove Found Via Google Earth
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Using detailed satellite imagery available through Google Earth, Australian researchers have discovered what may be tombs that are thousands of years old in remote stretches of Saudi Arabia (abstract). 'Kennedy scanned 1240 square kilometers in Saudi Arabia using Google Earth. From their birds-eye view he found 1977 potential archaeological sites, including 1082 "pendants" — ancient tear-drop shaped tombs made of stone. According to Kennedy, aerial photography of Saudi Arabia is not made available to most archaeologists, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to fly over the nation. "But, Google Earth can outflank them," he says. Kennedy confirmed that the sites were vestiges of an ancient life — rather than vegetation or shadow - by asking a friend in Saudi Arabia, who is not an archaeologist, to drive out to two of the sites and photograph them. By comparing the images with structures that Kennedy has seen in Jordan, he believes the sites may be up to 9000 years old, but ground verification is needed."

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DoD Leads In Federal Open Source Usage
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
GMGruman writes "A new open technology report card shows that only a third of federal agencies get a passing grade on open source usage and contribution, with the Defense Department leading the way. Savio Rodrigues explains what both government and business can learn from the DoD's open source prowess."

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'Dating' Site Imports 250k Facebook Profiles
Posted by News Fetcher on February 04 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
mark72005 sends this snippet from Wired:"How does a unknown dating site, with the absurd intention of destroying Facebook, launch with 250,000 member profiles on the first day? Simple. You scrape data from Facebook. At least, that's the approach taken by two provocateurs who launched Lovely-Faces.com this week, with profiles — names, locations and photos — scraped from publicly accessible Facebook pages. The site categorizes these unwitting volunteers into personality types, using a facial recognition algorithm, so you can search for someone in your general area who is 'easy going,' 'smug' or 'sly.' ... [The creators] say they will take down a user’s profile if a person asks, and the site doesn’t have any indication they are actually trying to make any money. Instead, it’s part of a series of prank sites, the first two of which aimed at Google and Amazon, intended to make people think more about data in the age of internet behemoths. Moreover, it’s a bit funny hearing Facebook complain about scraping of personal data that is quasi-public."

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