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Patent Supports PSP2 Rear Touch Pad Rumor
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '10 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-always-thought-touchpads-were-too-easy-to-see deptartment:
itwbennett writes "According to Electronista, a series of patents filed 13 months ago and published late last week by Sony Computer Entertainment America may confirm rumors of a PSP2 with back touchpad. Of course, they could also confirm the rumored PlayStation phone. 'In either case,' says Peter Smith, 'exactly what interactions will be performed via the rear touch pad remain to be seen. Without adding a cursor to the display it couldn't be anything very precise (in other words, you wouldn't want to have to tap on a specific spot on the UI), but scrolling through menus, swiping to select items in inventory or panning around a map all seem like viable touch-enabled gaming UI interactions that you can do 'blind.' In shooter games you'll often have a gun reticle (essentially a cursor) anyway so aiming could be done via a rear pad.'"

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Aussie Gov't Decides ISPs Aren't Responsible For Infected Computers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-magnanimous-of-you deptartment:
c0lo writes "In a sudden outburst of common sense, the Australian senate decided that it is not the government's responsibility to force ISPs to disconnect infected computers from the Internet. Peter Coroneos, chief of the Internet Industry Association, used a car analogy that actually makes sense: 'It would be like forcing car manufacturers to take responsibility for bad drivers.'"

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Microsoft Word Patent Case Going To Supreme Court
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 09:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's eye-for-an-eye deptartment:
jfruhlinger writes "Microsoft may have had to change Word after being found guilty of violating a Canadian company's patents, but it's still resisting paying for damages — and is taking the fight to the US Supreme Court. If you can't stand either MS or patents, who do you root for here?"

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US Army Unveils 'Revolutionary' $35,000 Rifle
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 07:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-even-have-this-in-video-games deptartment:
rbrander writes "Don't call it a 'rifle,' call it the 'XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement System' and get your $35,000 worth. Much more than a projector of high-speed lead, this device hurls small grenades that automatically detonate in mid-flight with 1-meter accuracy over nearly 800m. The vital field feature is the ability to explode 1m behind the wall you just lazed — the one with the enemy hiding behind it."

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Peter Sunde Wants To Create Alternative To ICANN
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's icann-see-why deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "According to Peter Sunde's Twitter feed, he has been suspicious of ICANN for a long time. The non-profit corporation is tasked with managing both the IPv4 and IPv6 address spaces as well as handling the management of top-level domain name space including the operation of root nameservers. Sunde has lost a domain in the past because of the way ICANN acted. It was taken without any consultation on their part, instead the organization relied on information from recording industry group IFPI to change the domain ownership. But it seems for some reason his frustration has come to a head recently, and he has put a call out for help to create a competing root server."

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Iran Admits Stuxnet Affected Their Nuclear Program
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-mailed-their-reactors-to-a-nigerian-prince deptartment:
plover writes "According to this article in the Guardian, 'Ahmadinejad admitted the [Stuxnet] worm had affected Iran's uranium enrichment. "They succeeded in creating problems for a limited number of our centrifuges with the software they had installed in electronic parts," the president said. "They did a bad thing. Fortunately our experts discovered that, and today they are not able [to do that] anymore."'"

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The 5-Year Console Cycle Is Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's trading-increments-for-subscriptions deptartment:
Pickens writes "The Xbox 360 recently turned five years old, and with no known successor on the horizon for the 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii, Cnet reports on the death of the 5-year console cycle — one of the video game industry's most longstanding truisms. For example, the Nintendo Entertainment System came out in 1985, followed by the Super NES in 1991, the Nintendo 64 in 1996, the GameCube in 2001, and the Wii in 2006. But now, why should console makers upgrade their offerings? Consumers are still buying their machines by the hundreds of thousands each month, and ramped-up online initiatives are breathing new life into the systems. A lot of it has to do with the fact that with the current generation of consoles, each company found a way to maximize either the technology behind the devices, or the utility to a wide range of new gamers."

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Scammers Can Hide Fake URLs On the iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's don't-believe-everything-you-see deptartment:
CWmike writes "Exploiting an Apple interface design, identity thieves can hide URLs on the iPhone's limited screen real estate, tricking users into thinking they're at a legitimate site, a security researcher said on Monday. Nitesh Dhanjani demonstrated how criminals can easily hide the true URL of a site from users by building a malicious Web application. 'Note that on the iPhone, this only happens for sites that follow directives in HTML to advertise themselves as mobile sites,' said Dhanjani on his personal blog and in an entry on the SANS Institute's blog. The ability to hide the address bar in iOS is by design, noted Dhanjani, who said he had reported the problem to Apple. 'I did contact Apple about this issue and they let me know they are aware of the implications but do not know when and how they will address the issue,' he said."

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Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's headlines-that-sound-like-pornos deptartment:
wjousts writes "Well-known futurist Ray Kurzweil has made many predictions about the future in his books The Age of Intelligent Machines (1990), The Age of Spiritual Machines (1999) and The Singularity is Near (2005), but how well have his predictions held up now that we live 'in the future'? IEEE Spectrum has a piece questioning the Kurzweil's (self proclaimed) accuracy. Quoting: 'Therein lie the frustrations of Kurzweil's brand of tech punditry. On close examination, his clearest and most successful predictions often lack originality or profundity. And most of his predictions come with so many loopholes that they border on the unfalsifiable. Yet he continues to be taken seriously enough as an oracle of technology to command very impressive speaker fees at pricey conferences, to author best-selling books, and to have cofounded Singularity University, where executives and others are paying quite handsomely to learn how to plan for the not-too-distant day when those disappearing computers will make humans both obsolete and immortal.'"

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SAP Ordered To Pay $1.3 Billion To Oracle
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's take-a-check? deptartment:
bdcny7927 writes with news that a jury decided to award Oracle $1.3 billion in their lawsuit against SAP after deliberating for less than a day. "The verdict ... is the biggest ever for copyright infringement and the largest US jury award of 2010, according to Bloomberg data. The award is about equal to SAP’s forecasted net income for the fourth quarter, excluding some costs, according to the average estimate of analysts... SAP spokesman Bill Wohl said the German software maker will pursue all available options, including post-trial motions and will appeal if necessary."

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Being Too Clean Can Make People Sick
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's but-not-vice-versa deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults may negatively influence the immune system, a new University of Michigan School of Public Health study suggests (abstract, full paper [PDF]). Triclosan is a chemical compound widely used in products such as antibacterial soaps, toothpaste, pens, diaper bags and medical devices. Bisphenol A is found in many plastics and, for example, as a protective lining in food cans. Both of these chemicals are in a class of environmental toxicants called endocrine-disrupting compounds, which are believed to negatively impact human health by mimicking or affecting hormones."

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Compiling the WikiLeaks Fallout
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 12:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's diplomacy-is-like-making-sausages deptartment:
Now that the world has had some time to process the quarter million diplomatic documents published by WikiLeaks on Sunday, the media landscape is rife with reactions, threats, and warnings. Some US lawmakers have complained loudly and at length, saying that "WikiLeaks is putting at risk the lives and the freedom of countless Americans and non-Americans around the world." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the leak "not just an attack on America's foreign policy interests, it is an attack on the international community." The Guardian points out that it's not the media's job to protect diplomats from embarrassment, and other US officials seem to agree, focusing their wrath instead on the security practices surrounding sensitive information. The Pentagon and other agencies are looking at ways to tighten security, promising increased internal auditing and banning the ability of systems containing classified information to connect to thumb drives or other removable media. Meanwhile, few officials seem to be commenting publicly on the contents of the leak, which are sure to cause diplomatic problems around the globe.

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Moodle 1.9 Extension Development
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
melbenson writes "Moodle 1.9 Extension Development by Jonathon Moore and Michael Churchward, published by Packt Publishing, definitely delivers what it says on the book cover — 'Customize and extend Moodle by using its robust plugin systems.' This book, intended for users with a solid knowledge of the Moodle software and Moodle technologies, does a great job of opening the doors to creative and useful ideas to take your Moodle site to the next level. The book takes the reader through many examples of customizing and editing the Moodle code in an easy to understand, user-friendly way but also presents the reader with challenging and advanced concepts." Read on for the rest of melbenson's review.

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Causing Terror On the Cheap
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 11:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's quiet-shoes-and-a-creepy-mask deptartment:
jhigh writes "Bruce Schneier posts on his blog today about the value of terror with respect to cost-benefit for the terrorists. If you look at terror attacks in terms of what they cost the terrorists to implement, compared with what they cost the economy of the nation that was hit, the reward for terrorists is astronomical. Add in the insane costs of the security measures implemented afterward, particularly in America, and it's easy to see why the terrorists do what they do. Even when they're unsuccessful, they cost us billions in security countermeasures."

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Chinese DNS Tampering a Real Threat To Outsiders
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-hijack-their-hijack deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "China has long used the Internet's Domain Name Service to censor Web sites and information that the ruling Communist Party deems threatening. But now security experts warn that the government's censorship is in danger of spilling over China's borders, suppressing the ability of those living outside of China to find information online. An estimated 57% of all networks on Earth passed DNS requests through a Chinese DNS rootserver at some point in 2010, according to data from security firm Renesys. Tampering by the Communist Party there poses a danger to Internet security and freedom. In fact, DNS tampering may be a bigger threat than techniques like BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) hijacking, which is believed to be responsible for an unexpected shift in Internet routing in April that has recently been the subject of mainstream media reports in the US. There is already evidence that China's efforts to tamper with DNS have bled outside the country's borders. The same report to Congress from the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission that called attention to the BGP hijacking incident from April, 2010 also mentions a March, 2010 incident in which Internet users in the US and Chile attempted to connect to social networking websites banned by the Chinese government. However, their DNS requests were handled by a Beijing-based Domain Name Server, which responded with incorrect DNS information that directed the surfers to incorrect servers, the report says."

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Apple Bans Android Magazine App From App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's every-day-a-little-more-evil deptartment:
recoiledsnake writes "Apple dialed its battle with Android up a notch today by banning an Android magazine app from it's App Store, leaving no way for users to install the app on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches without jailbreaking. The reason for rejection, as given by an Apple rep was "You know... your magazine...It's just about Android.... we can't have that in our App Store." The bi-monthly publication — the Android counterpart to an iPhone magazine Dixon began putting out earlier this year — launched Nov. 11. "It's funny really because I don't think we would sell many magazines on Android through Apple App Store," Dixon told Media Watch. "But the question is where this is going." This comes on the heels of Jobs lashing out at Android calling it fragmented and it's patent attacks on Android."

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Empire Strikes Back Director Irvin Kershner Dies at 87
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 09:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's they-come-in-threes deptartment:
bigredradio writes "Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner died at his home in Paris after suffering from illness, his goddaughter Adriana Santini confirmed to the AFP Monday. He was 87."

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Apple, Microsoft, Google Attacked For Evil Plugins
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's also-wear-more-hats deptartment:
nk497 writes "A Mozilla exec has attacked Apple, Microsoft and Google for installing plugins without users' permission. "Why do Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others think that it is an OK practice to add plug-ins to Firefox when I'm installing their software packages?" Asa Dotzler asks "That is precisely how a Trojan horse operates... These additional pieces of software installed without my consent may not be malicious but the means by which they were installed was sneaky, underhanded, and wrong." He called on them to "stop being evil.""

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DIY Sound-Activated High-Speed Photography
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 08:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's point-and-pop-a-balloon deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "Have you ever wanted to catch the perfect photo with your SLR camera but couldn't time the shot just right? Photography enthusiast Matt Richardson brings us an instructional video over at Make Magazine that shows how to use some very basic breadboarding and an Arduino Nano to do some high-speed flash photography that is timed by sound instead of your finger hitting the button on the camera. He pops a balloon and smashes a wine glass to show some results. His code is available on Github, and you can find more of this sly hardware hacker on his YouTube channel."

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Microsoft Patents Shape-Shifting Display
Posted by News Fetcher on November 29 '10 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's not-the-odo-kind deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "In layman's terms, Microsoft's patent is for a special type of touch-screen display which includes a 'shape-memory' layer at its base. When activated by a special frequency of ultraviolet light, individual blocks — not-coincidentally the same size as a pixel on the display part — can be raised or lowered, lending the displayed image physical texture."

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