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Pentagon Says Cyberattacks Can Count As Act of War
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 07:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-we-can-invade-anybody department:
suraj.sun tips news that the Pentagon has decided computer sabotage originating from another country can be classified as an act of war. "The Pentagon's first formal cyber strategy, unclassified portions of which are expected to become public next month, represents an early attempt to grapple with a changing world in which a hacker could pose as significant a threat to US nuclear reactors, subways or pipelines as a hostile country's military." This news comes only days after the Chinese military admitted the existence of a team of cyberwarriors. "The report will also spark a debate over a range of sensitive issues the Pentagon left unaddressed, including whether the US can ever be certain about an attack's origin, and how to define when computer sabotage is serious enough to constitute an act of war. These questions have already been a topic of dispute within the military."

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Carbon Emissions Reached Record High In 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's posted-from-my-wood-burning-tablet department:
iONiUM writes "Last year, greenhouse gas emissions rose to a record amount of 30.6 gigatons, according to estimates from the International Energy Agency. From an article at the Guardian: 'Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics, the author of the influential Stern Report into the economics of climate change for the Treasury in 2006, warned that if the pattern continued, the results would be dire. "These figures indicate that [emissions] are now close to being back on a 'business as usual' path. According to the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's] projections, such a path... would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100," he said.'"
jamie points out a recent report that the cost of solar cells has dropped about 21 percent this year, leading to predictions that solar power may become cheaper than nuclear and fossil power within five years.

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World's Largest Amateur Rocket Prepares For Second Attempt
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-can-see-my-house-from-here department:
Plammox writes "Last year, non-profit, volunteer-based Copenhagen Suborbitals failed at launching what they call the world's largest amateur rocket, because of a frozen LOX-valve. This year, the sea launch platform 'Sputnik' has become self-propelled, eliminating the need for their home-built submarine(!). Sputnik is on its way into the Baltic Sea right now and a launch attempt is expected on Friday. However, one of the founders warns that even if ignition should occur, it might very well look like this."

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In Censorship Move, Iran Plans Its Own Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 05:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-threw-a-party-and-nobody-came department:
An anonymous reader writes "Iran is taking steps toward an aggressive new form of censorship: a so-called national Internet that could, in effect, disconnect Iranian cyberspace from the rest of the world (summary of paywalled WSJ report). The leadership in Iran sees the project as a way to end the fight for control of the Internet, according to observers of Iranian policy inside and outside the country. Iran, already among the most sophisticated nations in online censoring, also promotes its national Internet as a cost-saving measure for consumers and as a way to uphold Islamic moral codes."
The article also mentions unconfirmed local press reports suggesting that Iran is building its own national operating system.

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Is Bill Gates the Cure For What Ails Microsoft?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 05:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's more-cowbell-not-available department:
theodp writes "After reading the recent call for Steve Ballmer to step down, gdgt's Ryan Block concludes that it's time for Bill Gates to come back to Microsoft. 'I've long seen it as a foregone conclusion that Ballmer isn't the guy to be running what was until quite recently the world's preeminent technology company,' writes Block. 'The more pressing question is: who should replace him? I think we all know damn well who — but I'm not so sure he's available. Yet.' Block adds: 'I'm not saying Bill's going to leave his new gig as the world's greatest living philanthropist with aplomb, but the multi-billion dollar wheels at The Gates Foundation have been set in motion — and lest we all forget, the Foundation's endowment is tied directly to Microsoft's long-term success. It may just happen that Bill can help the Foundation more by securing Microsoft's future.'"

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Activision Reveals Call of Duty Subscription Plans
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's all-about-the-benjamins department:
dotarray writes "Activision has denied it and denied it, but now it's been revealed – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will feature an online service (that's what Call of Duty Elite is), complete with monthly subscription fees. 'Activision executives said they haven't yet figured out how much to charge for the service, but they expect the cost to be less than fees for comparable online-entertainment services, such as a $7.99-a-month Netflix Inc. movie subscription. Portions of the service will be free, including features inspired by Facebook Inc. that will let Call of Duty players meet for online gun battles with others who share various affiliations and interests. Another feature of the service will give Call of Duty players tools, modeled on those from stock-trading websites, to analyze their performance within the game, gauging factors such as which weapons have been most successful for them in killing enemies.'"

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Green Crystal 'Rain' Discovered Near Infant Star
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's somebody-should-stake-a-claim department:
An anonymous reader writes with this quote from a NASA press release:
"Tiny crystals of a green mineral called olivine are falling down like rain on a burgeoning star, according to observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. This is the first time such crystals have been observed in the dusty clouds of gas that collapse around forming stars. Astronomers are still debating how the crystals got there, but the most likely culprits are jets of gas blasting away from the embryonic star. ... The crystals are in the form of forsterite. They belong to the olivine family of silicate minerals and can be found everywhere from a periodot gemstone to the green sand beaches of Hawaii to remote galaxies. NASA's Stardust and Deep Impact missions both detected the crystals in their close-up studies of comets. ... The findings (abstract) might also explain why comets, which form in the frigid outskirts of our solar system, contain the same type of crystals."

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Patch For The Witcher 2 Removes DRM Shortly After Release
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '11 at 12:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's minimizing-inconvenience department:
cozzbp writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica:
"A little over a week after its release, The Witcher 2 is getting its first patch, and with it all versions of the game will now be DRM free. 'Our approach to countering piracy is to incorporate superior value in the legal version,' explained development director Adam Badowski. 'This means it has to be superior in every respect: less troublesome to use and install, with full support, and with access to additional content and services. So, we felt keeping the DRM would mainly hurt our legitimate users. This is completely in line with what we said before the release of The Witcher 2. We felt DRM was necessary to prevent the game being pirated and leaked before release.'"

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Human Brain Places Limit On Twitter Friends
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 10:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's some-brains-do-it-better-than-others department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Back in early '90s, British anthropologist Robin Dunbar began studying human social groups, measuring the number of people an individual can maintain regular contact with, and came up with 150 — a number that appears to be constant throughout human history — from the size of neolithic villages to military units to 20th century contact books. But in the last decade, social networking technology has had a profound influence on the way people connect, vastly increasing the ease with which we can communicate with and follow others, so it's not uncommon for tweeters to follow and be followed by thousands of others. Now Bruno Goncalves has studied the network of links created by three million Twitter users over four years. After counting tweets that are mutual and regular as signifying a significant social bond, he found that when people start tweeting, their number of friends increases to a saturation point until they become overwhelmed. Beyond that saturation point, the conversations with less important contacts start to become less frequent and the tweeters begin to concentrate on the people they have the strongest links with. So what is the saturation point? The answer is between 100 and 200, just as Dunbar predicts. 'This finding suggests that even though modern social networks help us to log all the people with whom we meet and interact,' says Goncalves, 'they are unable to overcome the biological and physical constraints that limit stable social relations (PDF).'"

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Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 08:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-recommend-terminator-repair department:
Hardhead_7 writes "Our recent discussion about how much your degree is worth got me thinking. I've been working in the IT field for several years now, but I don't have anything to my name other than an A+ certificate and vendor specific training (e.g., Dell certified). Now I'm looking to move up in the IT field, and I want some stuff on my resume to demonstrate to future employers that I know what I'm doing, enough that I can get in the door for an interview. So my question to Slashdot is this: What certifications are the most valuable and sought-after? What will impress potential employers and be most likely to help land a decent job for someone who doesn't have a degree, but knows how to troubleshoot and can do a bit of programming if needed?"

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The Machines That Sparked the Beginning of the Computer Age
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 06:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-the-beginning department:
jjp9999 writes "A war of spies and electromechanical machines that took place beneath the wires during World War II not only played a crucial role in the Allies' victory, but also helped spark the beginning of the computer age. Among the devices was the Enigma, a cipher capable of producing 150,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible code combinations, and a hulking machine, the Colossus, the first programmable electronic computer, capable of decoding the Enigma."

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PBS Web Sites and Databases Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's hacker-supported-news department:
wiredmikey writes "Late Sunday night, hackers gained access to several areas of PBS Web servers and were able publish a fake news story on a PBS news blog. The group also published PBS internal user login information that they were able to siphon out of PBS databases. The fake story was about rapper Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas, being been found alive and well in a small resort in New Zealand. A group going by the name of 'LulzSec' claimed responsibility for the hack, saying the attack was a protest against a PBS Frontline broadcast last week about WikiLeaks."

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Samsung Launches Exynos-Based Origen Dev Board
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's shiny-new-toys department:
siliconbits writes "You may recall a little group of Linux-loving chums called Linaro, which was formed almost a year ago in the hopes of speeding up Linux development. Today at Computex, the company's taking it one step further with the announcement of the Origen development board. Based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core chipset, the kit packs all the essential ports — including HDMI, USB 2.0 host, SD slot, etc. — for keen developers to get their hands dirty on, and its base board is also removable to accommodate future chipsets. Potential buyers are told to keep an eye on Insignal, which will soon be offering the basic Origen package for $199, along with optional parts at an extra cost."

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What's Killing Your Wi-Fi?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jamming-the-signal department:
Barence writes "PC Pro has taken an in-depth look at Wi-Fi and the factors that can cause connections to crumble. It dispels some common myths about Wi-Fi problems — such as that neighboring Wi-Fi hotspots are the most common cause of problems, instead of other RF interference from devices such as analogue video senders, microwave ovens and even fish tanks. The feature also highlights free and paid-for tools that can diagnose Wi-Fi issues, such as inSSIDer and Heatmapper, the latter of which maps provides a heatmap of Wi-Fi hotspots in your home or office."

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The Next Phase of Intelligent TVs Will Observe You
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's unseen-mechanized-eye department:
An anonymous reader writes "Japan based NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) is testing an interface which observes TV viewers, determines their interest and provides information related to the TV program in accordance with the way they are watching it. UTAN (user technology assisted navigation) TV viewing interface as it is called, has a camera mounted on the TV which photographs the viewer and estimates the viewer's degrees of interest, concentration, etc from circumstances such as who is watching the TV with how much interest. The information is processed by a tablet PC and recommended information is shown to the viewer, it is possible to show individual interests as well in case there are multiple viewers."

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What's Your College Major Worth?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 09:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's getting-your-money's-worth department:
Hugh Pickens writes writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that with tuition rising and a weak job market everyone seems to be debating the value of a college degree, but Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, says talking about the bachelor's degree in general doesn't make a whole lot of sense, because its financial payoff is heavily affected by what that degree is in and which college it is from. For the first time, researchers analyzed earnings based on 171 college majors and the differences are striking: For workers whose highest degree is a bachelor's, median incomes ranged from $29,000 for counseling-psychology majors to $120,000 for petroleum-engineering majors but the data also revealed earnings differences within groups of similar majors. Within the category of business majors, for instance, business-economics majors had the highest median pay, $75,000 while business-hospitality management earned $50,000. The study concludes that while there is a lot of variation in earnings over a lifetime, all undergraduate majors are worth it, even taking into account the cost of college and lost earnings with the lifetime advantage ranging from $1,090,000 for Engineering majors to $241,000 for Education majors. 'The bottom line is that getting a degree matters, but what you take matters more,' (PDF) concludes Carnevale," Last week we learned that dropping out of college could earn you $100,000 start-up money for your business.

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Activists Destroy Scientific GMO Experiment
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 07:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-in-my-garden department:
Freggy writes "In Belgium, a group of activists calling themselves the Field Liberation Movement has destroyed a field which was being used for a scientific experiment with genetically modified potatoes. In spite of the presence of 60 police officers protecting the field, activists succeeded pulling out the plants and sprayed insecticides over them, ruining the experiment. The goal of the experiment was to test potato plants which are genetically modified to be resistant to potato blight. It's a sad day for the freedom of scientific research."

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Germany To End Nuclear Power By 2022
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nicht-mehr-kernkraft department:
dcollins writes "Germany on Monday announced plans to become the first major industrialized power to shut down all its nuclear plants in the wake of the disaster in Japan, with a phase-out due to be wrapped up by 2022... Germany has 17 nuclear reactors on its territory, eight of which are currently off the electricity grid... Already Friday, the environment ministers from all 16 German regional states had called for the temporary order on the seven plants to be made permanent... Monday's decision is effectively a return to the timetable set by the previous Social Democrat-Green coalition government a decade ago. And it is a humbling U-turn for Merkel, who at the end of 2010 decided to extend the lifetime of Germany's 17 reactors by an average of 12 years, which would have kept them open until the mid-2030s."

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Linus Renames 2.6.40 Kernel To Linux 3.0, Announces Release Candidate
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's thanks-linus department:
An anonymous reader writes "Linus just released the first -rc of the next kernel series, but rather than continuing development as the Linux 2.6.40 kernel, he has renamed it to be the Linux 3.0 kernel." And he's tacked on a second dot and another zero (3.0.0), at least for now, because many scripts expect and rely on a three-part kernel version.

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NVIDIA Announces GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520MX Mobile GPUs
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '11 at 02:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's spittin'-pixels department:
MojoKid writes "NVIDIA just took the wraps off of a couple of new mobile GPUs at Computex and announced a slew of notebooks designs that will feature the new chips. The new GeForce GTX 560M and GT 520M will be arriving very soon, in notebooks from Asus, Alienware, Clevo, Toshiba, MSI, Samsung and others. The GeForce GT 520MX is an entry level DirectX 11 GPU designed for thin, light, highly mobile platforms. It sports 48 CUDA cores with a 900MHz graphics clock, 1800MHz shader clock, and 900MHz memory clock. Decidedly more powerful, the GeForce GTX 560M is outfitted with 192 CUDA cores and clocks in at 775MHz, with 1559MHz shaders, and 1250MHz for GDDR5 memory."

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