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Facebook Kills Mark Zuckerberg Action Figure
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '11 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "After being told it can no longer sell its Apple CEO Steve Jobs action figure, M.I.C. Gadget has been ordered to kill off its Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg action figure as well. The lifelike Zuckerberg doll was available for $70 online, but now Facebook has had it banned, just like Apple did for the Jobs doll." Still waiting for a lifelike 'CmdrTaco' doll with Carpal Tunnel Grip.

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Scott Adams Says Plenty Would Choose Life In Noprivacyville
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '11 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
LoLobey writes "On the other end of the spectrum from Richard Stallman, Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) speculates upon the advantages of living in a town with no privacy whatsoever. Everyone gets chipped and tracked online. 'Although you would never live in a city without privacy, I think that if one could save 30% on basic living expenses, and live in a relatively crime-free area, plenty of volunteers would come forward.'"

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Revisiting Ebert — Games Can Be Art, But Are They?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '11 at 03:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
At the recent Game Developers Conference, industry vet Brian Moriarty spoke at length about the old videogames-as-art debate. Moriarty found himself reluctantly defending one part of Roger Ebert's infamous argument against the notion: "No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers." What followed was a thoughtful discussion of how games fit in with the definition of art and how the commercialization that almost universally surrounds them can inhibit true artistic expression. Quoting:"Unlike Mr. Ebert, I have played many of the games widely regarded as great and seminal. I have the privilege of knowing many of the authors personally. But as much as I admire games like M.U.L.E., Balance of Power, Sim City and Civilization, it would never even occur to me to compare them to the treasures of world literature, painting or music. ... Video games are an industry. You are attending a giant industry conference. Industries make products. Video game products contain plenty of art, but it's product art, which is to say, kitsch art. Kitsch art is not bad art. It's commercial art. Art designed to be sold, easily and in quantity. And the bigger the audience, the kitschier it's gonna get."

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US Military Blocks Websites To Free Up Bandwidth
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '11 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
DJRumpy writes "The US military has blocked access to a range of popular commercial websites in order to free up bandwidth for use in Japan recovery efforts, according to an e-mail obtained by CNN and confirmed by a spokesman for US Strategic Command. The sites — including YouTube, ESPN, Amazon, eBay and MTV — were chosen not because of the content but because their popularity among users of military computers account for significant bandwidth, according to Strategic Command spokesman Rodney Ellison. The block, instituted Monday, is intended 'to make sure bandwidth was available in Japan for military operations' as the United States helps in the aftermath of last week's deadly earthquake and tsunami, Ellison explained."

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Trailers for Arkham City, Prey 2, Prototype 2
Posted by News Fetcher on March 16 '11 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's deptartment:
A gameplay trailer has been released for Batman: Arkham City, the upcoming sequel to 2009's Arkham Asylum. The game is due out this October, and according to a preview at Eurogamer, the game's developer, Rocksteady Studios, is taking seriously "its role as the Dark Knight's caretaker." Another trailer comes from Bethesda, this time a non-gameplay teaser of Prey 2, after the game's existence was officially confirmed. Kotaku reports that the game will have some significant differences from its predecessor, but details are vague and the game won't be released until 2012 — not unlike Prototype 2, for which there is also a new trailer.

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EvoMouse Turns Your Digits Digital
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
cylonlover writes "With the plethora of mouse alternatives available or in development you'd be forgiven for thinking the humble computer mouse was some kind of torturous device inflicted upon computer users. But despite a multitude of challengers, the mouse has maintained its dominance while remaining largely unchanged since its unveiling in 1968. Now there's another alternative cursor relocation device set to hit the market called the evoMouse that turns just about any flat surface into a virtual trackpad with your finger as the pointer."

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In Virginia, Delivering Broadband To the Customers Big Telecom Forgot
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 08:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
cheezitmike writes "A Washington Post story tells how former automotive engineer Paul Conlin just wanted to get broadband at his rural home in Fauquier County, Virginia, and ended up forming his own wireless ISP: 'Paul Conlin, the proprietor of Blaze Broadband, is not a typical telecom executive. He drives a red pickup and climbs roofs. When customers call tech support, he is the one who answers. Conlin delivers broadband to Fauquier County homes bypassed by Comcast and Verizon, bouncing wireless signals from antennas on barns, silos, water towers and cellphone poles.'"

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Cocaine Found At Kennedy Space Center
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 06:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "For the second time in the last two years, a stash of cocaine has been found at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. 4.2 grams of the a powdery white substance were discovered on March 7, and field tests by law enforcement officials confirmed that it was indeed cocaine. A spokesperson was unable to provide additional details about where the substance was found, or how many employees and contractors are now being drug tested. An investigation into a similar discovery in January 2010 yields no results after all 200 NASA employees and contractors who had access to the area in which the cocaine was found tested negative for the drug."

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No Contactless Payment System In Next iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
RedEaredSlider writes "Citing fears over a lack of an industry standard, Apple has ditched plans to include near field communication technology in its next iPhone, The Independent reports. The technology, which allows users to make payments simply by waving their devices over special readers, is widely believed to be the next major step in both cell phone and payment technologies. Apple's decision to avoid it is a significant blow to its adoption."

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Robert X Cringely Predicts More Mininuke Plants
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
LandGator writes "PC pundit Robert X Cringely had a life before writing 'Triumph of the Nerds' for PBS: He covered the atomics industry and reported on Three Mile Island. In this blog post, he analyzes the Fukushima reactor failures, and suggests the end result will be a rapid growth in small, sealed 'package' nuclear reactors such as the Toshiba 4S generator considered for Galena, Alaska. He thinks Japan may have little choice, and with rolling blackouts scheduled, he may be right."

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Iris-Scan ID Cards For Children In Mexico
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Today the first ID cards that include iris and fingerprint biometric information were registered and issued in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. (Original article in Spanish.) The juicier part of the story is that for now, only children will be enrolled in this national biometric database. It is intended that by December 2012 all children in the country will be registered. The alleged purpose of the new ID card is to hinder the abduction of children and prevent child exploitation. The first ID cards are being issued in the same city that last year started implementing a mandatory iris scan for convicted felons and voluntary members of the public in a Minority Reportesque plan to combat delinquency that features iris readers in public transport and ATMs. This comes from the country that last year attempted and failed to create a national database of mobile phone users, again with the purported intention to tackle extortion and kidnappings."

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Linux 2.6.38 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's deptartment:
darthcamaro writes "The new Linux 2.6.38 kernel is now out, and it's got a long list of performance improvements that should make Linux a whole lot faster. The kernel includes support for Transparent Huge Pages, Transmit Packet Steering (XPS), automatic process grouping, and a new RCU (Read/Copy/Update)-based path name lookup. '"This patch series was both controversial and experimental when it went in, but we're very hopeful of seeing speedups," James Bottomley, distinguished engineer at Novell said. "Just to set expectations correctly, the dcache/path lookup improvements really only impact workloads with large metadata modifications, so the big iron workloads (like databases) will likely see no change. However, stuff that critically involves metadata, like running a mail server (the postmark benchmark) should improve quite a bit."'"

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Poole To Zuckerberg: You’re Doing It Wrong
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 02:15 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "At South by Southwest Interactive 2011 in Austin, Texas this week, 4chan founder Christopher Poole (also known as 'moot') took the stage to talk about various online issues. One of these was how important anonymity is on the Internet and how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn't get it."

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Time Warner Cable Launches iPad App With Live TV
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 01:30 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
ShadowFoxx writes "Time Warner Cable Inc. is launching an iPad application that plays live TV, becoming the first cable company to do so. The app will be free to download on Tuesday morning, but it will only work for people who subscribe to both video and Internet service from the New York-based cable company. Even then, it only works in the home, when the iPad is connected to the company's cable modem via a Wi-Fi router."

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NASA Building Network of Smart Cameras Across US
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 12:45 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
kkleiner writes "A major government agency is looking to blanket the US with cameras that will never stop their surveillance. But don't worry, privacy pundits, those cameras will be spying on the sky, not civilians. NASA's All-sky Fireball Network is a series of cameras that track meteorites as they enter the atmosphere. With careful triangulation, NASA can not only know where the meteorites will land, they can determine where they came from as well. One of the coolest parts of the All-sky Fireball Network is that it's fully automated. Meteors are detected by a computer which sends images, video clips, and data analysis to William Cooke, head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. Now you can get the same information as Cooke, too – the All-sky Fireball Network's website publicly records all the data for you to peruse."

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Cutting Prices Is the Only Way To Stop Piracy
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 12:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "The only way to stop piracy is to cut prices. That's the verdict of a major new academic study that reckons copyright theft won't be halted by 'three strikes' broadband disconnections, increasing censorship or draconian new laws brought in under the anti-counterfeiting treaty ACTA. The Media Piracy Project, published last week by the Social Science Research Council, reports that illegal copying of movies, music, video games and software is 'better described as a global pricing problem' — and the only way to tackle it is for copyright holders to charge consumers less money for their wares."

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Utah Governor 'Honored' With Blackhole Award
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's deptartment:
The national Society of Professional Journalists plans to 'honor' Utah's Gov. Gary Herbert with the first-ever Black Hole award for a restrictive new open records law. From the article: "David Cuillier, SPJ's Freedom of Information Committee chief and a journalism professor at the University of Arizona, said he'll try to present the award to Herbert on Wednesday. The award, Cuillier said, is part of Sunshine Week, an annual initiative begun in 2002 to promote greater transparency in government. Nominations were gathered from around the country, but Cuillier said 'there was no question' the award should go to Herbert as the chief executive of the state."

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Jeff & Rob Visit Lucasfilm
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 10:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
Last fall Hemos started working for Perforce: one of their clients is Lucasfilm. One thing led to another, and last week I got to visit their Presidio facility in San Francisco. Their security policies prevent me from saying anything about the super sweet things I saw inside the building, but I can post this picture of us next to the Yoda statue outside the front door.Thanks to Matt Janulewicz for getting us in the front door and showing us around, Daryll Jacobson for opening a cool door and Tina Mills for pressing click. I can now say that I've been physically closer to Starwars.com than I have to Slashdot.org since the 1998 when it lived under my desk.Finally, the gauntlet has been thrown: if you work somewhere cool (Pixar? Apple? NASA? The White House? Comerica Park?) drop me an email! I am not above using T-Shirts as bribery to see cool places!

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New Adobe Flash 0-Day
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 10:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "Adobe is warning its users about a critical vulnerability in Flash that affects Adobe Reader and Acrobat, as well, and is being used in some highly targeted attacks right now. The vulnerability in Flash Player affects Reader and Acrobat, both of which include Flash functionality, but it does not affect Reader X. Adobe officials said that Reader X's Protected Mode sandbox would prevent successful exploits. The company plans to have a patch for the affected products ready by next week for all platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and Solaris."

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Apple Handcuffs Web Apps On iPhone Home Screen
Posted by News Fetcher on March 15 '11 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's deptartment:
SF Polack writes "On Apple's iOS 4.3, HTML5 and JavaScript apps are running significantly slower when they're run from the iPhone or iPad home screen rather than Safari, and the OS is hindering the performance of these apps in other ways. The end result is that it that harder for web apps to compete with native iOS app sold through the App Store, where Apple takes a 30 per cent of sales."

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