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Cracking Passwords With Amazon EC2 GPU Instances
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sekrit-p4ssw0rd deptartment:
suraj.sun writes "As of Nov-15, 2010, Amazon EC2 is providing what they call "Cluster GPU Instances": An instance in the Amazon cloud that provides you with the power of two NVIDIA Tesla "Fermi" M2050 GPUs... Using the CUDA-Multiforce, I was able to crack all hashes from this file with a password length from 1-6 in only 49 Minutes (1 hour costs 2.10$ by the way.). This just shows one more time that SHA1 is deprecated — You really don't want to use it anymore."

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Professor Has Camera Surgically Implanted In the Back of His Head
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's cheating-impossible deptartment:
There won't be any cheating in professor Wafaa Bilal's class anymore. The New York University photography professor is having a camera surgically implanted in the back of his head. The camera will take a still picture every minute for one year, and the best shots will be put on display at a new museum in Qatar. Visitors can also watch a live stream of images from the camera which has some NYU administrators and faculty worried about student privacy. "Obviously you don't want students to be under the burden of constant surveillance; it's not a good teaching environment," said Fred Ritchin, associate chairman of the department.

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The Beatles on iTunes
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 07:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's help-i-need-some-money deptartment:
Yesterday Apple put a big old teaser up on their homepage for an unknown announcement to occur today. Speculation ran rampant from the delayed iOS 4.2, to iTunes Streaming to a release of the Beatles catalog on the iTunes store. Well it was the latter. They have 13 albums on the store now and a $150 box set. So here's hoping that we get that iPad multitasking yet this november.

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Hayabusa Captured Asteroid Dust Confirmed
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's grats-to-everyone deptartment:
astroengine writes "It's been a seven-year roller-coaster ride for the asteroid sample return mission, but JAXA — the Japanese space agency — has confirmed that 1,500 particles of dust from the surface of asteroid Itokawa have been found inside the sample return capsule. The capsule parachuted to Earth shortly before the Hayabusa spacecraft reentered over the Australian Outback in June. Since then, scientists have been painstakingly analyzing the capsule's contents to make sure the dust they found wasn't terrestrial contamination. Now they are sure, making this the first time a sample has been collected from the surface of an asteroid (and only the second time a sample has been returned from a celestial object, the first being the Moon missions)."

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The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-isn't-that-special deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "There is a relatively miniscule patch to the Linux kernel scheduler being queued up for Linux 2.6.38 that is proving to have dramatic results for those multi-tasking on the desktop. Phoronix is reporting the ~200 line Linux kernel patch that does wonders with before and after videos demonstrating the much-improved responsiveness and interactivity of the Linux desktop. While compiling the Linux kernel with 64 parallel jobs, 1080p video playback was still smooth, windows could be moved fluidly, and there was not nearly as much of a slowdown compared to when this patch was applied. Linus Torvalds has shared his thoughts on this patch: So I think this is firmly one of those "real improvement" patches. Good job. Group scheduling goes from "useful for some specific server loads" to "that's a killer feature"."

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Shadow Scholar Details Student Cheating
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cloak-and-dagger-academia deptartment:
vortex2.71 writes "A 'shadow writer,' who lives on the East Coast, details how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and describes the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle Of Higher Education reviewed correspondence he had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. 'I've written toward a master's degree in cognitive psychology, a Ph.D. in sociology, and a handful of postgraduate credits in international diplomacy. I've worked on bachelor's degrees in hospitality, business administration, and accounting. I've written for courses in history, cinema, labor relations, pharmacology, theology, sports management, maritime security, airline services, sustainability, municipal budgeting, marketing, philosophy, ethics, Eastern religion, postmodern architecture, anthropology, literature, and public administration. I've attended three dozen online universities. I've completed 12 graduate theses of 50 pages or more. All for someone else.'"

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Stuxnet Was Designed To Subtly Interfere With Uranium Enrichment
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's well-thank-god-it-didn't-infect-my-pc deptartment:
ceswiedler writes "Wired is reporting that the Stuxnet worm was apparently designed to subtly interfere with uranium enrichment by periodically speeding or slowing specific frequency converter drives spinning between 807Hz and 1210Hz. The goal was not to cause a major malfunction (which would be quickly noticed), but rather to degrade the quality of the enriched uranium to the point where much of it wouldn't be useful in atomic weapons. Statistics from 2009 show that the number of enriched centrifuges operational in Iran mysteriously declined from about 4,700 to about 3,900 at around the time the worm was spreading in Iran."

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The Story of My As-Yet-Unverified Impact Crater
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '10 at 12:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's dent-in-the-world deptartment:
tetrahedrassface writes "When I was very young, my dad took me on a trip to his parents' farm. He wanted to show me 'The Crater.' We walked a long way through second generation hardwoods and finally stood on the rim of a hole that has no equal in this area. As I grew up, I became more interested in The Crater, and would always tell friends about it. It is roughly 1,200 feet across and 120 feet deep, and has a strange vibe about it. When you walk up to it, you feel like something really big happened here. Either the mother of all caves is down there, or a large object smashed into this place a long, long time ago. I bought aerial photos when I was twelve and later sent images from GIS to a geologist at a local university. He pretty much laughed me out of his office, saying that it was a sinkhole. He did wish me luck, however. It may be sinkhole. Who knows? Last week I borrowed a metal detector and went poking around, and have found the strangest shrapnel pieces I have ever seen. They are composed of a metal that reacts strongly to acids. The largest piece so far reacted with tap water and dish-washing detergent. My second trip today yielded lots of strange new pieces of metal, and hopefully, one day the truth will be known. Backyard science is so much fun. And who knows; if it is indeed a cave, maybe Cerberus resides there."

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Muscle Mice
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 11:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hulk-squeek deptartment:
SilasMortimer writes "Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder have accomplished that for which humankind has been desperate since the dawn of civilization: turning sad, injured regular mice into angry, beefed-up super-mice. Well, okay, there's no official word in the article about the rodents' emotional states, but certainly when stem cells were injected into mice with leg injuries, the muscle grew back... almost twice as big as it was before the injury [abstract, supplemental material (PDF)]. This has many exciting implications, from better healing after injuries to slowing down the aging process to a spike in the number of cases of Generalized Anxiety Disorder among cats. I, for one, refuse to perpetuate outdated memes. (But feel free to make up for the lack.)" If these mice are bred with those given previously discovered treatments to make them smarter and fearless, we might be in trouble.

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Blizzard Seeking Console Devs For 'Diablo-Related Concept'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 10:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's strict-inevitabilities deptartment:
Eurogamer reports that a number of Blizzard job listings went up today for top-level console developers. The listings were posted under the Diablo 3 heading, leading to speculation about a console port of the upcoming game. A Blizzard representative soon responded, saying, "... we’re currently exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles. As we’ve said in the past, with proper care the gameplay could suit the console platform, and we’re interested in seeing what talent out there might be interested in contributing to such a project. To further reiterate what’s posted on the home page: this is not an announcement of a console title. We are first and foremost developing Diablo III for Windows and Mac PCs, and we have no intention of allowing a console interpretation to delay or otherwise affect the release of the game." Having played Diablo 3 at Blizzcon, I can say that the game would very easily make the transition to consoles. An Xbox 360 or PS3 controller would almost perfectly fit all necessary gameplay functions. That said, they could just as easily be porting one of the older games, building a new mini-game to get their feet wet, or getting started on Diablo 4. Time will tell.

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AMD Joins Intel's MeeGo OS Effort
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 09:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's welcome-me-a-meego deptartment:
angry tapir writes "In an effort to expand software compatibility for its upcoming Fusion chips, AMD has joined rival Intel's efforts to develop the open-source MeeGo OS. AMD 'will provide engineering expertise intended to help establish the technical foundations for next-generation mobile platforms and embedded devices,' the company said in a blog post on its website."

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Free-Form Linguistic Input In Mathematica 8
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 07:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's differentiates-concepts-and-integrates-words deptartment:
vbraga writes "With the release of Mathematica 8, it now allows input through free-form English instead of the Mathematica syntax, just like the Wolfram|Alpha engine. The results are impressive. From the blog post: 'I routinely found myself using free-form linguistics as an integral part of longer computations — randomly interspersing Mathematica syntax and free-form linguistics on different lines in a Mathematica session, and just using whichever was most convenient for a particular input. And here's an exciting part: in Mathematica 8 the free-form linguistics doesn't just operate line-by-line. It knows the context in which it's used in a notebook, so you can use it to build things up.'"

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Proposed ADA Requirements May Affect Public Internet Use
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 05:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's allocating-the-best-e-parking-spots deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The Associated Press is reporting on federal officials who want to expand the application of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to require accommodations by public websites, call centers, and technology providers. Hearings are scheduled in Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco. New rules could be implemented as soon as 2012. 'For more than a decade, the Justice Department has interpreted the ADA to apply to websites that offer goods and services. But now that idea could be clarified, and timetables for compliance could be set. ... The Justice Department is considering making it clear that some personal, noncommercial content would not be affected.'"

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Video Games Found To Enhance Visual Attention
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 04:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's told-you-mom deptartment:
donniebaseball23 writes "Reporting on new research from WIREs Cognitive Science, IndustryGamers writes: 'Action games like Call of Duty and Halo can enhance visual attention, the ability that helps us focus on relevant visual information. The mental mechanism allows people to select pertinent visual information and ignore irrelevant information. It suggests that action titles can be used to augment military training, educational tools, and correct visual deficits.' Shawn Green, co-author of the study, commented, 'At the core of these action video game-induced improvements appears to be a remarkable enhancement in the ability to flexibly and precisely control attention, a finding that could have a variety of real-world applications. For example, those in professions that demand "super-normal" visual attention, such as fighter pilots, would benefit enormously from enhanced visual attention, as their performance and lives depend on their ability to react quickly and accurately to primarily visual information."

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NASA Announces Discovery of 30-Year-Old Black Hole
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's give-or-take-50-million-years deptartment:
broknstrngz tips news of an announcement today from NASA about the discovery of a black hole in the M100 galaxy, roughly 50 million light-years from Earth. The discovery is notable because, if confirmed, it's now the youngest known black hole, born from the remains of a supernova we observed in 1979. Bad Astronomer Phil Plait explains why scientists think it collapsed to a black hole, rather than a neutron star: "The way a neutron star emits X-rays is different than that of a black hole. As a neutron star cools, the X-ray emission will fade. However, a black hole blasts out X-rays as material falls in; that stuff forms a flat disk, called an accretion disk, around the black hole. As this matter falls onto the newly created black hole, it gets heated to unimaginable temperatures — millions of degrees — and blasts out X-rays. In that case, the X-rays emitted would be steady over time. What astronomers have found is that the X-rays from SN1979c have been steady in brightness over observations from 1995 – 2007. This is very strong evidence that the star’s core did indeed collapse into a black hole." He also warns that we're not certain quite yet, and we'll have to keep our eye on it to make sure it's not a pulsar.

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Oracle Solaris 11 Express Released
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 03:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's long-time-coming deptartment:
comay writes "Today Oracle released Solaris 11 Express 2010.11. It includes a large number of new features (PDF) not found in either Oracle Solaris 10 or previous OpenSolaris releases, including ZFS encryption and deduplication, network-based packaging and provisioning systems, network virtualization, optimized I/O for NUMA platforms and optimized platform support including support for Intel's latest Nehalem and SPARC T3. In addition, Oracle Solaris 10 support is available from within a container/zone so migration of existing systems is greatly simplified." Reader gtirloni adds, "Oracle also announced that this is not a beta or preview, but a full, supported release aimed at everybody developing, testing, prototyping or demonstrating applications running on the latest Solaris release (not allowed to be used in production)."

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Scientists Propose One-Way Trips To Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 03:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thousands-would-do-it deptartment:
vortex2.71 writes "Invoking the spirit of Star Trek in a scholarly article entitled 'To Boldly Go,' two scientists contend human travel to Mars could happen much more quickly and cheaply if the missions are made one-way. They argue that it would be little different from early settlers to North America, who left Europe with little expectation of return. 'The main point is to get Mars exploration moving,' said Dirk Schulze-Makuch of Washington State University, who wrote the article in the latest Journal of Cosmology with Paul Davies of Arizona State University. The colleagues state — in one of 55 articles in the issue devoted to exploring Mars — that humans must begin colonizing another planet as a hedge against a catastrophe on Earth."

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State-Sponsored CyberAttacks Expected To Rise
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 02:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's nowhere-to-go-but-up deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "According to a report released today, IT security professionals will see a rise in State-sponsored attacks, like the Stuxnet worm, that will build on concepts and techniques from the commercial hacker industry to create more powerful 'Advanced Persistent Threats.' The researchers also expect an increase in compromised mobile devices leading to data theft or loss as a result of lagging security measures, and that next year will bring the first major data breaches as a result of compromised devices. The biggest potential impact will be caused by the proliferation of sophisticated mobile devices interacting with corporate networks."

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Tablet Prototype Needs No External Power Supply
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's fully-integrated-car-battery deptartment:
timothy writes "I'd like to see computing devices with no need for an external power supply — an e-book reader, a general knock-about PDA, a phone — all kinds of things. But there's a certain heart-strings appeal to such a computer intended as an educational tool for precisely those kind of places where basic infrastructure (like the provision of electricity) is a stumbling block. Perhaps built-in solar makes more sense, in more places, than the hand-cranked power the OLPC project ended up dropping from their laptops-for-kids program."

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Aerial Drone To Hunt For Life On Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '10 at 01:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's care-for-some-martian-venison deptartment:
astroengine writes "What if the Martian terrain is too rugged for a rover to traverse? How do we study surface features that are too small for an orbiter to resolve? If selected by NASA, the Aerial Regional-Scale Environment Surveyor (ARES) could soar high above the Martian landscape, getting a unique birds-eye view of the Red Planet. Its primary mission is to sniff out potential microbial-life-generating gases like methane, but it would also be an ideal reconnaissance vehicle to find future landing sites for a manned expedition. Prototypes of the rocket-powered drone have been successfully flown here on Earth, so will we see ARES on Mars any time soon?"

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