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Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's you-can't-test-faith department:
Hugh Pickens writes "Pastabagel writes that the actual scientific answers to the questions of the origins of the universe, the evolution of man, and the fundamental nature of the cosmos involve things like wave equations and quantum electrodynamics and molecular biology that very few non-scientists can ever hope to understand and that if we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that we accept the incredibly complex scientific phenomena in physics, astronomy, and biology through the process of belief, not through reason. When Richard Fenyman wrote "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics," he was including himself which is disconcerting given how many books he wrote on that very subject. The fact is that it takes years of dedicated study before scientific truth in its truest, mathematical and symbolic forms can be understood. The rest of us rely on experts to explain it, someone who has seen and understood the truth and can dumb it down for us in a language we can understand. And therein lies the big problem for science and scientists. For most people, science is really a matter of trusting the expert who tells it to us and believing what they tell us. Trust and belief. Faith. Not understanding. How can we understand science, if we can't understand the language of science? "We don't learn science by doing science, we learn science by reading and memorizing. The same way we learn history. Do you really know what an atom is, or that a Higgs boson is a rather important thing, or did you simply accept they were what someone told you they were?""

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Google Adds Tablet UI Elements To Chrome OS Betas
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 07:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sure-why-not department:
Apparently current builds
identify themselves as CrOS, elements have been giving more whitespace to ease finger based navigation, and and on-screen keyboard is now built in. This only adds further to the questions about the positioning of ChromeOS vs Android: developers probably don't want to work on both.

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7.4-Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Japan; Tsunami Alert Issued
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's oh-crap-not-again department:
There is breaking news that a 7.4 Magnitude Quake has hit off the coast of Japan, and a Tsuanmi warning has been made. Please post updates in the comments.

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Getting L33t Into the Oxford English Dictionary
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 06:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's every-word-on-the-bus department:
arcticstoat writes "A few net-speak acronyms such as LOL and OMG were entered to the Oxford English Dictionary last month, but could we ever see l33t-speak (complete with numbers) or ROFLcopters in the OED? In this interview with OED principal editor Graeme Diamond, he reveals the selection criteria for new words and discusses the potential for words such as 'l33t' to get into the dictionary. 'L33t is obviously a respelling and a contraction [of elite],' says Diamond, 'so it would be a separate entry, and yes it is familiar to me, so I think it's something we would consider for inclusion.'"

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Epsilon Breach Used Four-month-old Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's way-to-go-guys department:
schliz writes "Marketing giant Epsilon knew that it was vulnerable to an attack for "some months" before suffering a high-profile breach last week. According to Epsilon's technology partner ReturnPath, the breach was part of a series of socially engineered attacks discovered in November."

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Fired Gucci Employee Accused of Attacking Network
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-that's-just-swell department:
WrongSizeGlass writes "Computer World, Information Week, The Register are all reporting on the story of a former Gucci IT employee who is accused of a November 2010 assault on Gucci's network deleting files and virtual servers, taking a storage area network offline, and deleting mailboxes from the corporate email server. The lost productivity is estimated at $200,000. Sam Chihlung Yin, 34, of Jersey City, NJ, allegedly created a fake VPN token in the name of a non-existent employee which he tricked Gucci IT staff into activating in June 2010, a month after his employment contract was terminated by Gucci for unrelated reasons."

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Pandora App Sends Private Data To Advertisers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 05:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's of-course-it-does department:
Trailrunner7 writes "An analysis of the popular free mobile application from online music service Pandora.com that is the subject of a grand jury investigation into loose data privacy practices in the mobile application market confirms that the application silently sends reams of sensitive data to advertisers. The analysis was conducted by application security firm Veracode and found that Pandora's free mobile application for Android phones tracked and submitted a range of data, including the user's gender, geographic location and the unique ID of their phone, according to an entry on Veracode's blog."

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Feds Prep For E-Gov Shutdown
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 04:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's down-and-out-on-capitol-hill department:
dcblogs writes "If the federal government is shutdown midnight Friday, the feds plan to stop updating government Web sites that aren't delivering essential services. 'Most Web sites will not continue, only those Web sites that are part of these accepted activities would continue to operate,' the senior White House official said Tuesday. 'Accepted activities,' refers to essential, life and safety-related government services. The IRS, however, will continue to accept tax returns filed electronically and to process payments. 'We need to be able to collect the money that is owed to the U.S. government,' the official said. Paper-based returns won't be processed."

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Elderly Georgian Woman Cuts Armenian Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 02:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-net-for-you department:
welcher writes "An elderly Georgian woman was scavenging for copper with a spade when she accidentally sliced through an underground cable and cut off internet services to nearly all of neighboring Armenia. The fibre-optic cable near Tiblisi, Georgia, supplies about 90% of Armenia's internet so the woman's unwitting sabotage had catastrophic consequences. Web users in the nation of 3.2 million people were left twiddling their thumbs for up to five hours. Large parts of Georgia and some areas of Azerbaijan were also affected. Dubbed 'the spade-hacker' by local media, the woman is being investigated on suspicion of damaging property. She faces up to three years in prison if charged and convicted."

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Dearth of New Nintendo Games Could Indicate Wii 2
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 01:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's could-also-indicate-laziness department:
A speculative piece at Kotaku looks at the release cycle of Nintendo games over the past 10 years, pointing out a current lull that's quite similar to the one near the launch of the Gamecube. They suggest this could be because first-party developers are busily working on games for the Wii 2. Quoting:
"The spring of 2002 was the longest Nintendo game drought on record, and has a number of characteristics in common with the season we're entering now. Nintendo has launched a major piece of technology (the 3DS) and is initiating the gradual retirement of a console with a large and reliable installed base. While we entered into this data mining project with the presumption that we could recognize a pattern that presaged a new console release—the Wii 2, obviously—the last time there was a Nintendo game drought this pronounced was after the release of the Gamecube. Still, you can neatly overlay the release history of the Gamecube overtop the current release history of the Wii—they match that closely."

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France Outlaws Hashed Passwords
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '11 at 12:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's keep-your-receipt department:
An anonymous reader writes "Storing passwords as hashes instead of plain text is now illegal in France, according to a draconian new data retention law. According to the BBC, '[t]he law obliges a range of e-commerce sites, video and music services and webmail providers to keep a host of data on customers. This includes users' full names, postal addresses, telephone numbers and passwords. The data must be handed over to the authorities if demanded.' If the law survives a pending legal challenge by Google, Ebay and others, it may well keep some major services out of the country entirely."

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GameStop To Build Its Own Gaming Tablet?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 10:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's company-destroying-optimism department:
itwbennett writes "GameStop has been on a roll lately, purchasing both Impulse and Spawn Labs in the past week. Now it's ready to go after those casual gaming dollars, but first it needs to put a gaming tablet in your hands. GameStop President Tony Bartel told CNBC that his chain is going to start selling tablets later this year: 'If we can work with our partners and the OEMs and they come up with a great tablet that is enabled with a great gaming experience and coupled with a bluetooth controller, then there's no need to go out and develop our own. But if we can't find one that's great for gaming, then we will create our own.'"

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Richard Branson Announces Virgin Oceanic Submarine
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 09:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's 6-miles-down department:
It's the tripnaut! writes "Richard Branson has just revealed that he intends to build a vessel capable of exploring some of the deepest parts of the oceans around the world. The article further states: 'The sub, which was designed by Graham Hawkes, weighs 8,000 lbs and is made of carbon fiber and titanium. It has an operating depth of 37,000 ft and can operate for 24 hours unaided.'"

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Using Fusion To Propel an Interstellar Probe
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nukes-in-space department:
astroengine writes "We've heard of nuclear pulse propulsion being the ideal way to travel through interstellar space, but what would such a system look like? In the 1970's, the British Interstellar Society's (BIS) Project Daedalus was conceived to fire pellets of fusion fuel out the rear of an interstellar space probe that were ignited using a powerful laser system. The 'pulsed inertial confinement fusion' wouldn't be 'vastly different from a conventional internal combustion engine, where small droplets of gasoline are injected into a combustion chamber and ignited,' says Richard Obousy, Project Leader and Co-Founder of Project Icarus. Now, building on the knowledge of Daedalus, the researchers of Project Icarus have prepared a nifty animation of a fusion pulse propulsion system in operation on the original Daedalus vehicle."

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Amazon Named the "Most Reputable Company"
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's one-click-heroes department:
An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has been named the most reputable company in the US this year (up from 21st place last year), according to the sixth annual list of the 150 Most Reputable Companies from advisory firm Reputation Institute (RI), in partnership with Forbes Media. The list is based on RI's US RepTrak Pulse Study, which measures trust, esteem, admiration, and good feelings consumers have towards the largest 150 companies based on revenue in the US. The ratings are analyzed from nearly 33,000 online consumer responses taken in January and February."

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Sex After a Field Trip Yields Scientific Discovery
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's congratulations-on-your-infection department:
sciencehabit writes "A U.S. vector biologist appears to have accidentally written virological history simply by having sex with his wife after returning from a field trip to Senegal. A study just released in Emerging Infectious Diseases suggests that the researcher, Brian Foy of Colorado State University, passed to his wife the Zika virus, an obscure pathogen that causes joint pains and extreme fatigue. If so, it would be the first documented case of sexual transmission of an insect-borne disease. The curious case also solves a viral mystery that's been going on for years."

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Anonymous Launches Attack On Sony
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's attack-of-the-month-club department:
RedEaredSlider writes "The hacker collective Anonymous has made good on its threat to attack Sony, having launched a distributed denial-of-service attack on Wednesday afternoon. The attack is revenge for the legal action taken against another hacker who modified a PlayStation 3. Sony Computer Entertainment America filed suit against George Hotz, also known as Geohot. Hotz had released a firmware modification that allowed a Sony PlayStation 3 to run other operating systems. Sony had removed that functionality some months before. The suit is still pending."

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GNOME 3 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's check-it-out department:
Blacklaw writes "The GNOME Desktop team has sent its latest creation into the wild, officially launching GNOME 3.0 — the biggest redesign the project has enjoyed in around nine years. 'We've taken a pretty different approach in the GNOME 3 design that focuses on the desired experience and lets the interface design follow from that,' designer Jon McCann explained during the launch. 'With any luck you will feel more focused, aware, effective, capable, respected, delighted, and at ease.'"

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Mono Comes To Android
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's here-have-some department:
hairyfeet writes "After releasing Monotouch for iPhone which allows c# development on iOS, Novell has announced the availability of Mono for Android. Will this give us the 'one language to rule them all' that Java failed to bring, or will the bad blood between the F/OSS groups and Microsoft make this a dead end?"

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Salt Lake City To Launch Mobile Payment System
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '11 at 01:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wave-N-pay department:
jitendraharlalka writes "According to The Register: 'Operator consortium Isis has selected Salt Lake City as its flagship deployment to show the rest of the USA what NFC can do for them. The plan will see Salt Lake City's public transport system accepting pay-by-wave from a mobile phone by the middle of next year. Retailers have also been encouraged to adopt Near Field Communications technology at the point of sale, as Salt Lake City strives to become The Place You Can Leave Your Wallet At Home. The Utah Transit Authority already uses proximity payment cards, deployed in 2009, so adding NFC functionality to public transport is a matter of software not hardware.'"

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