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Spacecraft Sends First Image From Mercury's Orbit
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 01:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hot-pictures department:
adeelarshad82 writes "NASA released an image of Mercury captured by its Messenger spacecraft — the first ever obtained from the planet's orbit. The first image came in at 5:20am Eastern yesterday, and over the next six hours, Messenger captured an additional 363 images, which are still being transmitted to the Messenger team on Earth. In the next three days, the spacecraft will capture another 1,185 images, with the goal of snapping 75,000 over the next year."

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US To Send Radiation-Hardened Robots To Japan
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nuke-resistant department:
CWmike writes "The United States is sending specialized robots to Japan to help officials there get control of the Fukushima nuclear power plants damaged in this month's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Dr. Peter Lyons, an acting assistant secretary for nuclear energy with the DoE, said the robots, which could be sent into areas that would be dangerous for humans to enter because of high radiation levels, could begin to give officials readings on the environment inside the nuclear power plants. Lyons told the US Senate on Tuesday, 'We are moving expeditiously to ship not only the robots but also operators who perhaps will be used to train Japanese operators. We don't know yet how close the operators will need to be to the site.' Asked about getting information about the state of the damaged reactors, Lyons said the robots could provide some information. 'Certainly not all we need, but some,' he said."

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Book Review: The Art of Computer Programming. Volume 4A: Combinatorial Algorithm
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
asgard4 writes "Decades in the making, Donald Knuth presents the latest few chapters in his by now classic book series The Art of Computer Programming. The computer science pioneer's latest book on combinatorial algorithms is just the first in an as-of-yet unknown number of parts to follow. While these yet-to-be-released parts will discuss other combinatorial algorithms, such as graph and network algorithms, the focus of this book titled Volume 4A Combinatorial Algorithms Part 1 is solely on combinatorial search and pattern generation algorithms. Much like the other books in the series, this latest piece is undoubtedly an instant classic, not to be missing in any serious computer science library or book collection." Keep reading for the rest of asgard4's review. The Art of Computer Programming. Volume 4A: Combinatorial Algorithms Part 1
author Donald E. Knuth
pages 883
publisher Addison-Wesley Publishing
rating 9/10
reviewer asgard4
ISBN 0-201-03804-8
summary Knuth's latest masterpiece. Almost all there is to know about combinatorial search algorithms.

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Google Fiber Comes To Kansas City
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we-have-a-winner department:
tekgoblin writes "Remember the campaign Google announced a long while back to bring fiber to your front door? Well, it looks like they are making some actual progress now and launching part of the network in Kansas City, Kansas. The city of Topeka had actually temporarily renamed itself Google, Kansas, the capital city of fiber optics, in a move to get Google to lay fiber there. It seems to have worked, because a deal has just been signed to roll out fiber in the city, which should be available to everyone in the area by 2012."

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MS Global Strategy Chief: Tablets Are a Fad
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's 640K-ought-to-be-enough-for-anybody department:
jfruhlinger writes "Wondering why Microsoft isn't jumping into the red-hot tablet market? Well, maybe it's because Craig Mundie, the man in charge of the company's global strategy, isn't sure if the 'big screen tablet pad category' has staying power. Of course, it's possible that tablets will go the way of the netbook, but blogger Chris Nerney calls Microsoft's seeming total inaction in the face of a hot market 'mind-boggling.'"

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FCC Giving Away Wi-fi Routers For Broadband Tests
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wireless-handouts department:
An anonymous reader writes "The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will be giving away 10,000 Wireless-N routers as part of their program to perform a number of broadband tests, for the benefit of a better connection in the future. They are striving to work on improving a number of issues including latency, packet loss, connection speeds and much more."

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Google Agrees To Biennial Privacy Reviews
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 09:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-see-what-you-did-there department:
Blacklaw writes "Google has publicly apologised for the mistakes it made during the launch of its Twitter-like social networking tool Buzz, and claims that it's learned its lesson — and will be undergoing independent privacy reviews to keep it on the straight and narrow."

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European Parliament Computer Network Breached
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's breach-the-breach department:
Orome1 writes "The computer network of the European Parliament has been targeted by a cyber attack that may or may not be linked to the attack against the European Commission and the External Action Service networks that took place a week ago. According to the Parliament's spokesmen, the attack was still ongoing yesterday morning and information technology services have put in place some security measures — such as blocking access to webmail."

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Amazon's Cloud Player: We Don't Need a License
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's of-course-you-don't department:
halfEvilTech writes "Amazon has launched Cloud Drive and Cloud Player without securing streaming licenses from the music industry. But does it need to? Amazon says "No." The music industry? "Yes."" Do I need a license to stream MP3s from system RAM to the MP3 player? From my Hard Drive to RAM? From my File Server to my machine?

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MIT Drone Finds Its Way Using Kinect Vision
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's robots-are-dead department:
garymortimer writes "This MIT multicopter is able to fly in GPS denied environments by creating a 3D map of its surroundings on the fly (no pun intended) based on point clouds generated by a Kinect. Also pretty handy for avoiding trees and other obstacles outside at low level. This processing is onboard, unlike other systems that depend on motion capture rigs."

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Comodo Says Two More RAs Compromised
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 05:48 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's no-time-for-compromise department:
Trailrunner7 writes "Officials at Comodo have acknowledged that an additional two registration authorities affiliated with the company have been compromised in the wake of the high-profile attack on the company that was disclosed last week.
Addressing a list of concerns about Comodo's practices raised by customers and browser vendors in the wake of the attack, Alden said that the company is now in the process of rolling out a new two-factor authentication system for its RAs. Comodo also is installing other security measures as a result of the attack."


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Mars Rover Down? Spirit Stays Silent
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 05:48 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sleep-well-good-sir department:
astroengine writes "One year after NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit stopped communicating with Earth, mission managers have announced that they will give the stranded rover one more month to send a signal before they scale back the search. But things aren't looking good. In the words of JPL-based Mars rover driver Scott Maxwell, 'Spirit was so close to us, just a year ago. Snap your fingers, and she's a hundred million miles distant and we can't even prove she's alive.'"

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California Healthcare Provider Wants Illness-Predicting Algorithm
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '11 at 05:48 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's make-hospitals-smaller department:
alphadogg writes "The Heritage Provider Network wants to do for healthcare what technology in the film Minority Report did for police work. In other words, it wants to use technology to pre-emptively predict when illness is likely to strike and take measures to prevent costly hospitalizations. This week Heritage announced that it was offering a prize of $3 million for any developer who successfully created a 'breakthrough algorithm that uses available patient data, including health records and claims data, to predict and prevent unnecessary hospitalizations.'"

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Game Devs Weigh In On Windows Phone 7
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 07:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
The mobile games industry has exploded over the past few years, driven largely by titles built for iOS and Android. The Guardian's games blog decided to investigate the pros and cons of Windows Phone 7 as a game development platform while it struggles to catch up to its predecessors."... the easy portability of code betweeb WP7 and Xbox, plus the wealth of online tutorials, libraries and community support, is a massive advantage, especially for smaller and less experienced teams. ... As with Xbox Live Arcade, the console's downloadable games service, Windows Phone 7 offers a curated experience, which means Microsoft controls the quality of games appearing on the device. ... [Steven Batchelor-Manning of Nerf Games says,] 'The App Hub offers a good peer review system, where other developers are asked to check over your game. This helps filter out both low quality and bug-ridden titles. We are always given a particular quality to aim for. Once it's got past this stage there is also a chance that Microsoft will veto against your game going on the platform. Ultimately, this prevents the market being swamped, but above this, there seems to be a layer of games by big publishers (EA, etc) that just step past the smaller developers in the queue. This is the biggest drawback of the system.'"

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BP Loses Laptop With Oil-Spill Claimants' Personal Info
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 06:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
Oxford_Comma_Lover writes "CNN Reports that BP lost a laptop with the name, address, DOB, and SSNs of everyone who filed claims related to the big oil spill last year. In other words, everyone asking for money from them based on the spill just got their private info misplaced. There has been no allegation of bad faith."

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Microsoft Denies HTTPS Shutdown Was Intentional
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 06:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
jbrodkin writes "Microsoft acknowledged that Hotmail's HTTPS encryption service was shut off for users in some countries, but denied that it was because of an intentional ploy to limit email security in countries that have experienced anti-government protests and limits on freedom of expression. 'We do not intentionally limit support by region or geography and this issue was not restricted to any specific region of the world,' Microsoft said. Syria, Morocco, Bahrain, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Algeria were among the affected countries, but the problem is now resolved."

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Browser Power Consumption Compared
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
theweatherelectric writes "Over on the IE Blog they've posted a power consumption comparison of the five major browsers. They write: 'Power consumption is an important consideration in building a modern browser and one objective of Internet Explorer 9 is to responsibly lead the industry in power requirements. The more efficiently a browser uses power the longer the battery will last in a mobile device, the lower the electricity costs, and the smaller the environment impact. While power might seem like a minor concern, with nearly two billion people now using the Internet the worldwide implications of browser power consumption are significant.'"

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$110,000 Fine Is First Under MA Data Privacy Law
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
chicksdaddy writes "A Massachusetts restaurant chain was the first company fined under the state's toughest-in-the-nation data breach law, according to a statement by the Massachusetts Attorney General. The Briar Group, which owns a number of bars and restaurants in Boston, is charged with failing to protect patrons' personal information following an April, 2009 malware infestation. It was ordered to pay $110,000 in penalties and, essentially, get its *&@! together. Among the revelations from the settlement: Briar took six months to detect and remove the data stealing malware, continuing to take credit and debit cards from patrons even after learning of the data breach, said Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley."

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WP7 Predicted To Beat iPhone By 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
WrongSizeGlass writes "InformationWeek is reporting that Windows Phone 7 will overtake Apple's iPhone by 2015 according to IDC. IDC predicts 2015 will bring: Android 45.4%, WP7 & WinMobile 20.9%, iOS 15.3%, RIM 13.7%, Symbian 0.2%, and 'Others' 4.6%. These numbers would move WP7 into 2nd place and leave iOS in 3rd place with a slightly smaller piece of the smart phone pie than they current hold (15.7%). The author of the InformationWeek story isn't buying IDC's forecast, because of WP7's anemic sales to date and Microsoft's recent stumbles with its first two updates. I have to wonder if WP7 will still be Microsoft's smartphone OS in 2015 or if they'll have moved to WP8."

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RIAA Lobbyist Becomes Federal Judge, Rules On File-Sharing Cases
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '11 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot'sdeptartment:
suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica:"Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers. Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry."

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