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Tour of the Closet Sized Living Quarters On ISS
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's efficient-use-of-space-get-it?? deptartment:
Phoghat writes "Who knew it could take almost seven minutes to get a tour of the teeny-tiny crew quarters on board the International Space Station? But Expedition 26 Commander Scott Kelly provides an engaging peek inside his personal living space, and an inside look at life aboard the ISS."

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Download Firefox, Feed a Red Panda
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-a-sandwich deptartment:
KenW writes "Mozilla has launched a new marketing campaign to promote Firefox: adopting red pandas and putting them on live webcams. The company wants to underline the fact that the red panda is the mascot for its open source browser via a new section on its site called Firefox Live. It's clear that Mozilla is trying to think of new ways to promote its browser ahead of the launch of Firefox 4. The company has been struggling recently as Firefox steadily loses share to Google Chrome."

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Why Money Doesn't Motivate File-sharers
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's just-wanna-watch-tron deptartment:
nk497 writes "File-sharers aren't motivated by financial gain, but by altruism, according to an economist. Joe Cox, of the Portsmouth Business School, said those uploading content for others to share don't see what they're doing as illegal, meaning current tactics to deter piracy are doomed to fail. 'The survey data suggested there was a deep-seated belief that this type of activity shouldn't be illegal, that there was no criminal act involved.'"

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Android Phones Get Virtualization
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's do-both-run-doom deptartment:
bednarz writes "VMware is teaming with LG to sell Android smartphones that are virtualized, allowing a single phone to run two operating systems, one for business use and one for personal use. A user's personal email and applications would run natively on the Android phone, while a guest operating system contains the employee's work environment. The devices would also have two phone numbers."

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Blizzard Launches Third WoW Expansion, Cataclysm
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's resetting-the-treadmill deptartment:
Last night marked the launch of Cataclysm, the third expansion for Blizzard's World of Warcraft. Cataclysm includes: two new races, both of which have their own starting zones; five new high-level zones that span the new 80-85 leveling content; seven new five-man dungeons (plus two heroic versions of classic dungeons); three end-game raids; a new profession; two new PvP battlegrounds; and one world PvP zone. In addition, Cataclysm features a revamp of Azeroth, the portion of the game world that went live when WoW originally launched in 2004, providing a much improved leveling experience for new players and alts. MMO-Champion posted a comprehensive collection of information about the new content. Of course, Cataclysm's launch has brought the video game addiction debate back to the fore.

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Wikileaks Founder Arrested In London
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's that-didn't-take-long deptartment:
CuteSteveJobs writes "The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been arrested by London police on behalf of Swedish authorities on allegation of rape. Assange has admitted that he exhausted by the ongoing battle against authorities. The Swiss Government has confiscated $37K in his Swiss Bank account. PayPal and Mastercard have frozen Wikileak's accounts, hampering Wikileaks from raising any more funds."

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Programming Mistakes To Avoid
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's livin'-on-the-edge-cases deptartment:
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner outlines some of the most common programming mistakes and how to avoid them. 'Certain programming practices send the majority of developers reaching for their hair upon opening a file that has been exhibiting too much "character." Spend some time in a bar near any tech company, and you'll hear the howls: Why did the programmer use that antiquated structure? Where was the mechanism for defending against attacks from the Web? Wasn't any thought given to what a noob would do with the program?' Wayner writes. From playing it fast and loose, to delegating too much to frameworks, to relying too heavily on magic boxes, to overdetermining the user experience — each programming pitfall is accompanied by its opposing pair, lending further proof that 'programming may in fact be transforming into an art, one that requires a skilled hand and a creative mind to achieve a happy medium between problematic extremes.'" What common mistakes do you frequently have to deal with?

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John Carmack Not Enthused About Android Marketplace
Posted by News Fetcher on December 07 '10 at 02:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hit-with-a-fragmentation-grenade deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "During an in-depth and informative interview, Doom creator and id Software co-founder John Carmack opines on iOS game development, the economics of mobile development vs. console development, why mobile games lend themselves to more risk-taking and greater creativity, and finally, why he's not too keen on the Android Marketplace as a money-making machine. '...I'm honestly still a little scared of the support burden and the effort that it's going to take for our products, which are very graphics-intensive.'"

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Australia's Outback Could Get Web Via TV Antenna
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hope-they-broadcast-the-sites-you-want-to-see deptartment:
disco_tracy writes "Australia began switching off its analog TV signals in June and the transition to digital-only transmission is expected to be complete by the end of 2013, five years before the roll out finishes for the NBN. The leftover analog spectrum could be used to deliver Internet to people living in remote areas. Unlike 3G networks, which lose download speed with more users, the analog signal would provide a consistent speed no matter how many users there were."

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The New Reality of Gaming
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-blame-the-schools deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Video games used to be about fighting aliens and rescuing princesses, writes Rohin Dharmakumar in Forbes, but the most popular games today have you tilling your farm, hiring waiting staff and devising menus for your restaurant or taking your pets out for walks while maintaining cordial relations with the neighbors. 'Reality, it would seem, is the new escapism.' Video games of the pre-social network era were mostly played by boys or young men but 'now the core audience of social network games are girls and young women,' says Alok Kejriwal, founder and CEO of games2win, an online gaming company. The tipping point in the US came in 2008 when women outnumbered men on the Internet. Combined with millions of parents and grandparents who're new to the Internet, the traditional face of the gamer is changing from that of a 25-year-old male to a band stretching from 16 to 40 years comprising men and women in almost equal numbers, says Sebastien de Halleux, one of the co-founders of Playfish, who predicts that someone is going to create a social game very shortly that pulls in a billion dollars a year. Gaming for this new set of players is less about breathtaking graphics, pulsating sound or edge-of-the-seat action and more about strengthening existing real world relations through frequent casual gaming. 'Think of these games as a sandbox where everybody has the same tools, yet everyone achieves different results,' says de Halleux."

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Summarizing the Apple-Android Patent Battle
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 09:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's technolegal-detritus deptartment:
FlorianMueller writes "Apple's patent dispute with Motorola is one of the biggest legal battles going on at the moment. Apple, which is also entangled in litigation with Nokia and HTC, recently beefed up its legal team, but it also keeps throwing in ever more patents. Apple made important court filings last Wednesday and Thursday. The bottom line: Apple now asserts 24 patents against Motorola, which uses 18 patents in claims against Apple. 21 of Apple's infringement allegations relate to Android, 3 to Motorola set-top boxes and DVRs. Motorola targets the whole range of Apple products." Mueller followed up the above article with an excellent visualization of how the patents, companies, and courts intersect.

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Why We Shouldn't Begrudge Commercial Open Source Companies
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 07:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's merge-those-benjamins-back-upstream deptartment:
Thinkcloud writes with a followup to recent news that Mozilla is once again looking into a do-not-track mechanism after having previously killed a similar tool, allegedly under pressure from advertisers. Canonical COO Matt Asay wrote in The Register that this is not necessarily the case, nor is Mozilla's decision necessarily the wrong one. "It's quite possible — indeed, probable — that the best way for Mozilla to fulfill its mission is precisely to limit the openness of the web. At least a bit. Why? Because end-users aren't the only ones with rights and needs online, a point Luis Villa elegantly made years ago. It's not a one-way, free-for-all for end-users. Advertisers, developers and enterprises who employ end-users among others all factor into Mozilla's freedom calculus. Or should." OStatic adds commentary that "Like it or not, commercial open source companies are still companies, and the economics of the online world have everything to do with their present and their future.

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Vuvuzelas Blare On Pirated Copies of Music Game
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz deptartment:
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Wired: "A novel anti-piracy measure baked into the Nintendo DS version of Michael Jackson: The Experience makes copied versions of the game unplayable and taunts gamers with the blaring sound of vuvuzelas. Many games have installed switches that detect pirated copies and act accordingly, like ending the user's game after 20 minutes. Ubisoft has come under fire multiple times for what players have seen as highly restrictive anti-piracy measures that annoy legitimate users as much or more so than pirates. But some more-mischievous developers have used tricks similar to the vuvuzela fanfare to mess with pirates. Batman: Arkham Asylum lets unauthorized users play through the game as if it were a normal copy, with a single exception: Batman's cape-glide ability doesn't work, rendering the game impossible to finish — although you might bash your head against it trying to make what are now impossible jumps. If you pirate Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, brace yourself for an explosion, as your entire base will detonate within 30 seconds of loading the game."

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Consumer Reports Gives AT&T Lowest US Carrier Rank
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's can-you-hear-me-now deptartment:
tekgoblin writes "Consumer Reports has just released results for consumer satisfaction across all US cell phone carriers. The survey covered around 58,000 Consumer Reports subscribers. Over half of the respondents who used AT&T used the iPhone when taking the survey. According to Consumer Reports, iPhone users were less satisfied with AT&T than other users with different phones. An AT&T spokesman responded by citing independent speed tests, as well as higher subscriber numbers and a dropped call rate of 0.1%."

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Researchers Tracking Emerging 'Darkness' Botnet
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 03:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-kid-on-the-block deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "Researchers are tracking a new botnet that has become one of the more active DDoS networks on the Internet since its emergence early last month. The botnet, dubbed 'Darkness,' is being controlled by several domains hosted in Russia and its operators are boasting that it can take down large sites with as few as 1,000 bots. The Darkness botnet is seen as something of a successor to the older Black Energy and Illusion botnets and researchers at the Shadowserver Foundation took a look at the network's operation and found that it is capable of generating large volumes of attack traffic. 'Upon testing, it was observed that the throughput of the attack traffic directed simultaneously at multiple sites was quite impressive,' Shadowserver's analysts wrote in a report on the Darkness botnet. 'It now appears that "Darkness" is overtaking Black Energy as the DDoS bot of choice. There are many ads and offers for DDoS services using "Darkness." It is regularly updated and improved and of this writing is up to version 7. There also appear to be no shortage of buyers looking to add "Darkness" to their botnet arsenal.'"

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Explosive-Laden California Home To Be Destroyed
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's boom-boom deptartment:
wiredmikey writes with this snippet from an AP report: "Neighbors gasped when authorities showed them photos of the inside of the Southern California ranch-style home: Crates of grenades, mason jars of white, explosive powder and jugs of volatile chemicals that are normally the domain of suicide bombers. ... Now authorities face the risky task of getting rid of the explosives. The property is so dangerous and volatile that they have no choice but to burn the home to the ground this week in a highly controlled operation involving dozens of firefighters, scientists and hazardous material and pollution experts. ... Some 40 experts on bombs and hazardous material from across the country and at least eight national laboratories are working on the preparations. They have analyzed wind patterns to ensure the smoke will not float over homes beyond the scores that will be evacuated. They have studied how fast the chemicals can become neutralized under heat expected to reach 1800 degrees and estimate that could happen within 30 minutes, which means most of the toxins will not even escape the burning home."

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A Nude Awakening — the TSA and Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's keep-it-above-the-waist deptartment:
DIplomatic writes "The Oklahoma Daily has a well-written editorial about the current state of airport security. Though the subject has overly-commented on, this article is well worth the read. Quoting: 'The risk of a terrorist attack is so infinitesimal and its impact so relatively insignificant that it doesn't make rational sense to accept the suspension of liberty for the sake of avoiding a statistical anomaly. There's no purpose in security if it debases the very life it intends to protect, yet the forced choice one has to make between privacy and travel does just that. If you want to travel, you have a choice between low-tech fondling or high-tech pornography; the choice, therefore, to relegate your fundamental rights in exchange for a plane ticket. Not only does this paradigm presume that one's right to privacy is variable contingent on the government's discretion and only respected in places that the government doesn't care to look — but it also ignores that the fundamental right to travel has consistently been upheld by the Supreme Court. If we have both the right to privacy and the right to travel, then TSA's newest procedures cannot conceivably be considered legal. The TSA's regulations blatantly compromise the former at the expense of the latter, and as time goes on we will soon forget what it meant to have those rights.'"

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NASA Launches Micro Solar Sail
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's still-working-on-micro-astronauts deptartment:
greyarea67 writes with news that NASA has successfully used a "microsatellite" (a term given to satellites weighing between 10kg and 100kg) to deploy a "nanosatellite" (a term given to satellites weighing between 1kg and 10kg). The deployed object, the first of six in the microsatellite's payload, was the NanoSail-D flight unit. NanoSail-D masses 4kg and is "about the size of a loaf of bread" until it deploys its solar sail. "...when the NanoSail-D sail is deployed it will use its large sail made of thin polymer material, a material much thinner than a single human hair, to significantly decrease the time to de-orbit the small satellite without the use of propellants as most traditional satellites use. The NanoSail-D flight results will help to mature this technology so it could be used on future large spacecraft missions to aid in de-orbiting space debris created by decommissioned satellites without using valuable mission propellants."

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One Night Stands May Be Genetic
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-in-your-genes deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "So, he or she has cheated on you for the umpteenth time and their only excuse is: 'I just can't help it.' According to researchers at Binghamton University, they may be right. The propensity for infidelity could very well be in their DNA. In a first of its kind study, a team of investigators led by Justin Garcia, a SUNY Doctoral Diversity Fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at Binghamton University, State University of New York, has taken a broad look at sexual behavior, matching choices with genes and has come up with a new theory on what makes humans 'tick' when it comes to sexual activity. The biggest culprit seems to be the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism, or DRD4 gene. Already linked to sensation-seeking behavior such as alcohol use and gambling, DRD4 is known to influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior."

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Google eBookstore Launched
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's moving-the-pieces-into-place deptartment:
angrytuna writes "The New York Times is running an article this morning about the launch of the Google ebook store. Independent bookstores such as Powell's, based in Portland, OR, have partnered with Google in this, selling the format directly in addition to their other ebook offerings. The ebooks appear to rely on Adobe Digital Editions for DRM; instructions are provided to transfer from the 'cloud' to a handheld device. iOS and Android have a dedicated app for accessing the store, and will download for offline immediately; other clients like the Nook and Sony eReader seem to be relying on the ADE platform to manage the transfer for offline reading." NPR tried it out on a few different devices and posted their experience.

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