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Google Lobbies Nevada To Allow Self-Driving Cars
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '11 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's to-drive-or-not-to-drive department:
b0bby writes "The NY Times reports that Google is quietly lobbying for legislation that would make Nevada the first state in which self-driving cars could be legally operated on public roads. 'The two bills, which have received little attention outside Nevada's capitol, are being introduced less than a year after the giant search engine company acknowledged that it was developing cars that could be safely driven without human intervention.'"

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Let Quantum Physics Officiate Your Wedding
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '11 at 03:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's physics-of-love department:
disco_tracy writes "Conceptual artist Jonathon Keats has come up with the ultimate in a nondenominational wedding ceremony: quantum entanglement. From the article: 'Keats has designed an entangling apparatus, which, when situated in a sunny window and exposed to the full spectrum of solar radiation, divides pairs of entangled photons and translates them to the bodies of a nearby couple.' As unusual as it seems, the ceremony is serious business to Keats, who says, 'The quantum marriage will literally be broken up by skepticism about it.'"

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Alabama Nuclear Reactor Gets 'F' Grade
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '11 at 02:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's better-than-an-incomplete department:
GatorSnake writes "The US federal government issued a rare red finding against an Alabama nuclear power plant after an emergency cooling system failure. 'In an emergency, the failure of the valve could have meant that one of the plant's emergency cooling systems would not have worked as designed (PDF).' Does this further erode the argument that Fukushima was just an isolated incident in the 'modern' nuclear power age?"

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NCSoft To Close North American Lineage Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '11 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's end-of-an-era department:
NCSoft announced yesterday that they plan to shut down all North American servers for their long-running Lineage MMORPG on June 29th. The game came out in 1998 and gradually became one of the most successful MMOs of all time, reporting over a million subscribers as much as a decade after launch. Account creation on North American servers has been disabled, subscriptions for coming months have been refunded, and existing accounts have been reactivated for free.
"We will not be making any additional content updates, but we do have US Ruleset changes and lots of great events planned for the next two months. We want to give you every opportunity to make all of your remaining Lineage dreams come true. We hope that everyone will stick around to have fun with the game you love in the time we have left. We know that we have incredibly loyal fans that have stood by us for the past ten years. As painful as it was, as a business, we had to make a very difficult, but necessary, decision."

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Over 7.5 Million Facebook Users Are Under 13
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's baby-book department:
liqs8143 writes "Of the 20 million minors who actively used Facebook in the past year, 7.5 million of them were younger than 13, according to projections from Consumer Reports' latest State of the Net survey. Facebook's terms of service require users to be at least 13 years old. Also among this group of minors using Facebook, more than 5 million were 10 and under. Consumer Reports' survey found that their accounts were largely unsupervised by their parents, exposing them to malware or serious threats such as predators or bullies."

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Portal 2 Authoring Tools Beta Released
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's contribute-to-science department:
Valve has announced the beta release of a set of authoring tools for Portal 2, allowing users to create their own puzzles and challenges in the name of science. "The Portal 2 Authoring Tools include versions of the same tools we used to make Portal 2. They'll allow you to create your own singleplayer and co-op maps, new character skins, 3D models, sound effects, and music." The tools are available for free to anyone who owns the PC version of the game.

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Assange Handed Sydney Peace Medal
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 09:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's love-or-hate department:
hihihihi writes "WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been awarded the Sydney Peace Foundation's Gold Medal for 'exceptional courage in the pursuit of human rights.' It is only the fourth time in the organization's 14-year history that the prize for extraordinary achievement in promoting peace with justice has been given out. Previous winners are Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama and Japanese Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda. Foundation director Professor Stuart Rees accused the Australian government of demonizing Mr Assange and aiding US efforts to behave like a totalitarian state."

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Brothers Build World's Largest Model Airport
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 08:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-going-to-need-more-glue department:
kkleiner writes "Frederik and Gerrit Braun, energetic twin brothers with no shortage of dreams, have just finished construction of the world's largest model airport. With 40,000 lights, 15,000 figurines, 500 cars, 10,000 trees, 50 trains, 1000 wagons, 100 signals, 200 switches, 300 buildings and 40 planes, Knuffingen Airport is both a wonder to behold as well as a technological tour de force. The best part of Knuffingen is that it's alive. Forty planes and 90 vehicles move about autonomously. Located in Hamburg, Germany, the model is based on Hamburg Airport."

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New Aircraft Is Pilot Optional
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 06:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's designated-pilot-program department:
Zothecula writes "Although the use of unmanned aerial vehicles such as Global Hawk and Raven for military information gathering has increased sharply in the last decade due to the maturation and miniaturization of enabling technologies, conventional piloted aircraft can still be a better option depending on the mission at hand. Northrop Grumman has unveiled a new intelligence gathering aircraft called the Firebird that falls into the category of an Optionally Piloted Vehicle with its ability to be flown robotically or with a human pilot on board."

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Microsoft Antitrust Oversight Ends
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 04:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you're-free-to-assimilate department:
dcblogs writes "The US Department of Justice remedies supervision in the Microsoft antitrust case ends Thursday, closing the landmark case, which began in 1998. But the questions posed by trial federal Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's attempted remedy remain: Did tech innovation suffer over the last 10 years because Microsoft wasn't broken up? 'Not really,' said Vinton Cerf, Google's chief Internet evangelist, 'It has to do with the fact that open source has become such a strong force in the software world.'"

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AP Files FOIA Request For Bin Laden Photos
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's gory-details department:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Atlantic reports that President Obama's decision to withhold the visual evidence of Osama bin Laden's death has created a fundamental disagreement between the White House and the Associated Press, one of the largest journalism organizations in the world, prompting the news organization to file a Freedom of Information Act request for the bin Laden photos. 'This information is important for the historical record,' says Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor at The Associated Press. 'That's our view.' AP's FOIA request includes a reminder of the president's campaign pledge and a plea to be more transparent than his predecessor. 'The Obama White House pledged to be the most transparent government in US history,' writes the AP, 'and to comply much more closely with the Freedom of Information Act than the Bush administration did.' The AP isn't alone in wanting more insight on the specifics of the raid. When it eventually surfaced that bin Laden was not killed in a firefight, his wife wasn't used as a human shield, there was no live footage of the event and the 'mansion' where he lived was only worth between $250,000 and $480,000, many became skeptical of the White House's narrative. Other organizations that have filed FOIAs include Politico, Fox News, Judicial Watch and Citizens United. Oreskes sympathizes with the president. 'This is obviously one of his most difficult decisions and we understand that.'"

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How WikiLeaks Gags Its Own Staff
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do department:
robbyyy writes "The New Statesman has just revealed the extent of the legal eccentricity and paranoia that exists at the WikiLeaks organization. The magazine published a leaked copy of the draconian and extraordinary legal gag which WikiLeaks imposes on its own staff. Clause 5 of the Confidentiality Agreement (PDF) imposes a penalty of £12,000,000 (approximately $20,000,000) on anyone who breaches this legal gag. Sounds like they don't trust their own staff."

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FCC Commissioner Leaves To Become Lobbyist
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 02:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's passing-the-smell-test department:
An anonymous reader writes "Meredith Attwell Baker, one of the FCC Commissioners, is leaving the FCC to become a lobbyist for Comcast-NBC, just four months after approving their merger deal. She refused to put any significant conditions on the merger, saying that the deal would 'bring exciting benefits to consumers that outweigh potential harms.' Comcast has released an official statement saying that, 'Meredith's executive branch and business experience along with her exceptional relationships in Washington bring Comcast and NBCUniversal the perfect combination of skills.'"

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Sailing the Titan Seas
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 02:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-gonna-need-a-better-boat department:
gpronger writes "The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been awarded the opportunity to explore the methane ocean on Titan. Next year APL will be submitting a project plan to NASA, which will be one of three submittals. If chosen, launch would be in 2016, with arrival at Titan in 2023. The 'Titan Mare Explorer' or TiME would be the first exploration of an extraterrestrial ocean with the craft landing and floating on the ocean. The mission would be led by principal investigator Ellen Stofan of Proxemy Research Inc. in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Lockheed Martin in Denver would build the TiME capsule, with scientific instruments provided by APL, Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego. This is part of NASA's Discovery Program and would be the next mission, funded and supported by NASA."

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Google's Honeycomb Source Code Release Is On Ice
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 02:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-quite-yet department:
itwbennett writes "'Ice Cream Sandwich', that is. Apparently it's source code delay week, as Google joins Apple in delaying the release of source code for open source licensed software. Except, unlike Apple, which promptly released the LGPL WebKit code in question Monday afternoon, Google stated yesterday that it will not release the source code for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) until after the release of the next version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). This is not necessarily news, since Google said last month that source code would be held for an indeterminate time and released when it was ready. It's just that now 'indeterminate' has an actual date: post-launch of Ice Cream Sandwich. The question, says blogger Brian Proffitt, is: 'How the heck can they do this, given that Honeycomb is licensed under the Apache Software License v2?'"

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App To Keep ISPs Honest About Bandwidth Caps
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 01:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keeping-track-of-the-trackers department:
alphadogg writes "A browser-based app developed by Georgia Tech researchers is designed to help Internet users make better use of their bandwidth – and to make sure ISPs are holding up their end of the bandwidth bargain. The Kermit app, which is being shown off Wednesday at the CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing in Vancouver, emerges at a time when service providers are starting to place bandwidth caps not just on wireless services, but on wireline services, too. AT&T, for example, is putting such caps in place this month for its DSL and U-verse customers. At least initially, such caps aren't expected to affect all but the very heaviest bandwidth users."

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Mainstream Media Looks At Anonymous
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 12:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pay-no-attention-the-nerds-behind-the-curtain department:
ScuttleMonkey writes "In an uncharacteristically accurate writeup of Anonymous, the Guardian has published a look at the assembled mob behind the mask. A great place to send those unfamiliar with who or what Anonymous really is. From the article: 'This collective identity belongs to no one in particular, but is at the disposal of anyone who knows its rules and knows how to apply them. Anonymous, the collective identity, is older than Anonymous, the hacktivist group – more to the point, I propose that the hacktivist group can be understood as an application of Anonymous, the collective identity.'"

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Translator Puts Us Closer To Dolphin Communication
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dolittle-communications department:
LordStormes sent in a link to an article about a new device that may allow dolphins to finally thank us for all the fish. Denise Herzing, founder of the Wild Dolphin Project and Thad Starner, an artificial intelligence researcher at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, have been working on a project called Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry or CHAT. The pair hope that CHAT will allow them to "co-create" a language with wild dolphins, allowing the two species to communicate. From the article: "Herzing and Starner will start testing the system on wild Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) in the middle of this year. At first, divers will play back one of eight 'words' coined by the team to mean 'seaweed' or 'bow wave ride,' for example. The software will listen to see if the dolphins mimic them. Once the system can recognize these mimicked words, the idea is to use it to crack a much harder problem: listening to natural dolphin sounds and pulling out salient features that may be the 'fundamental units' of dolphin communication."

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America's First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's piping-in-the-gas department:
hasanabbas1987 writes "Shell has opened America's first pipe-lined hydrogen fueling station in the town of Torrence in Southern California. Shell wasn't alone in this project as Toyota also helped them in this green deed, all of which was funded by the government. At the moment other hydrogen stations around the US still depend upon trucks to supply them with fuel. This marks a new era of green fueling and hopefully this pipeline spreads to other stations. Many of the big car makers like Toyota, Honda and Mercedes have indicated a mass market for hydrogen powered cars by 2015."

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Book Review: BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 11:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it department:
RickJWagner writes "Watch out, System Admins. The floodgates to BlackHat Hackerdom are now open. Packt Publishing has just released BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing, a how-to book based on the freely available BackTrack 4 Linux distribution. The intent of the book is to educate security consultants on the use of this devastatingly complete Hacker's toolkit, and to provide sage words of advice on how to conduct yourself as a penetration testing consultant. On both counts, the authors do well." Keep reading for the rest of Rick's review. BackTrack 4: Assuring Security by Penetration Testing
author Shakeel Ali, Tedi Heriyanto
pages 392
publisher Packt
rating 9/10
reviewer Rick J Wagner
ISBN 1849513945
summary Covers the core of BackTrack with real-world examples and step-by-step instructions

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