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What To Load On a 4-Year-Old's Netbook?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's besides-plants-vs.-zombies deptartment:
nostrodecus writes "I have a nephew who is very young, but who has the techie gene — he found the Gruffalo on youtube before anyone knew he could spell. Now he's almost 4, and I was thinking of giving him my netbook (Acer running XP), which i hardly use any more. So of course I will be deleting all the porn, but what should I load up on it? Are there tools/apps that I can load up on it to protect it and him from things he shouldn't see until college? Also, what apps or games could I load on it that a 4 year old will get some use out of?"

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iRacing World Champion Gets a Shot At the Real Thing
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's greger-was-race-car-driver deptartment:
jamie sent in a link to the story of iRacing World Champion Greger Huttu, who caught the attention of the Top Gear guys and got a chance to drive a real a Star Mazda racer. IRacing is a realistic driving simulator that recreates the exact physics of race cars and tracks from around the world and nobody is better than Greger. Top Gear wanted to see how the virtual champion would do with the real thing. Even though he was eventually unable to put up with the physical demands, Greger drove really well.

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China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's most-favored-DoS-nation deptartment:
theodp writes "While Wikileaks itself is under a DoS attack, details about the US State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks are starting to come out via the mainstream media. Among the most newsworthy, reports Techcrunch's Erick Schonfeld, is one set which deals with the massive computer attack on Google and other companies which was first revealed last January. According to the NY Times, some of the new leaked cables point directly at China's Politburo for instigating the original attacks, which should shed some more light on why the White House and State Department backed Google so vociferously at the time. Developing, as Drudge likes to say."

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How Apple Had a Spectacular Year
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 12:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's beating-the-odds deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "John Boudreau writes in the Mercury News that during its just-completed fiscal year, Apple broke four consecutive quarterly revenue and profit records and amid the worst recession in decades, hired thousands while others cut jobs, but what most distinguishes Apple is that while other tech titans spent 2010 cutting costs and acquiring new technology through mergers, this $65 billion company has been relentless in innovating like a startup and ruthless in promoting technologies that disrupt its own product lines. '"It's been an awesome year. The frequency of new stuff just boggles the mind," says Charles Wolf, an analyst with Needham & Co. "There is no company that is remotely close to what Apple is doing. They are the Energizer Bunny." In September 2005, Apple killed off the popular iPod Mini to make way for the the iPod Nano; Apple openly acknowledges that the iPhone is cannibalizing its iPods — and they don't seem to care; and the iPad tablet could ultimately threaten its core laptop business. "[Apple] has a different cultural mind-set," concludes Wolf. "They are acting like a startup, though they are becoming a $100 billion company."'

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WikiLeaks Under Denial of Service Attack
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's good-timing deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "WikiLeaks has reported that its Web site is currently under a mass distributed denial of service attack. The attack comes around the time of an expected release of classified State Department documents, which the Obama administration says will put 'countless' lives at risk, threaten global counterterrorism operations and jeopardize US relations with its allies."

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Linux Radio
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 09:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's free-traffic-report deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "This might very well be the nerdiest site we'll ever encounter... Linux Radio is an online radio station broadcasting the Linux kernel! Each time someone visit the site, a random source file is selected and read loudly by a virtual speaker materialized through the open source speech synthesizer eSpeak. Will it prove useful to anyone is probably a difficult question to answer, but the excitement provided is worth experiencing at least once. However, this concept proves once more the advantages of open source over proprietary software making such achievements impossible : whoever in his right mind would want to listen to binary files loudly?"

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USCG Sues Copyright Defense Lawyer
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nip-it-in-the-bud deptartment:
ESRB writes "The US Copyright Group has sued Graham Syfert, an attorney that created a packet of self-representation paperwork for individuals sued for P2P sharing of certain movies and moved to have sanctions placed against the defense attorney. Syfert sells these packets for $20, and the USCG claims the 19 individuals that have used it have cost them over $5000."

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No Press Is Bad Press Even Online
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-you-don't-have-anything-nice-to-say deptartment:
otter42 writes "The NYTimes has an 8-page exposé on how an online business is thriving because of giant amounts of negative reviews. It seems that if you directly google the company you have no problem discerning the true nature; but if you instead only google the brand names it sells, the company is at the top of the rankings. Turns out that all the negative advertisement he generates from reputable sites gives him countless links that inflate his pagerank."

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First Electric Cars Have Power Industry Worried
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they'll-find-a-way-to-charge-double-for-it deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Jonathan Fahey writes for AP that as the first mass-market electric cars go on sale next month, the power industry faces a huge growth opportunity, with SoCal Edison expecting to be charging 100,000 cars by 2015 and California setting a goal of 1 million electric vehicles by 2020. But utility executives are worried that the difficulty of keeping the lights on for the first crop of buyers — and their neighbors — could slow the growth of this industry because it's inevitable that electric utilities will suffer some difficulties early on. 'We are all going to be a lot smarter two years from now,' says Mark Perry, director of product planning for Nissan North America. When plugged into a home charging station the first Leafs and Volts will draw 3,300 Watts and take about 8 hours to deliver a full charge, but both carmakers may soon boost that to 6,600 Watts. The Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car with a huge battery, can draw 16,800 Watts. That means that adding an electric vehicle or two to a neighborhood can be like adding another house, and it can stress the equipment that services those houses. The problem is that transformers that distribute power from the electrical grid to homes are often designed to handle less than about 12,000 watts so the extra stress on a transformer from one or two electric vehicles could cause it to overheat and fail, knocking out power to the block."

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The Luck of the Irish Runs Out
Posted by News Fetcher on November 28 '10 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's top-o'-the-tax-bracket-to-ya deptartment:
theodp writes "Looks like threatening to take their ball and leave paid off for US tech firms. The Irish government announced plans this week to tap the welfare state and working class for much of the $20B in savings they've pledged to find over the next four years, but the austerity measures will not touch large businesses like Microsoft, Intel, Google, HP, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pfizer, which created jobs and fueled exports in Ireland after being lured by low corporate tax rates. More than 100,000 Dubliners took to the streets to protest the bailout plan, calling for the Irish government to default on the country's debts, and demanding an immediate election. 'We should default,' said a retired union worker, 'the idea that the workers of this country should pay for the gambling of the billionaires is disgusting.'"

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Kuwait Not Banning DSLR Cameras After All
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 11:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's false-alarm deptartment:
Voulnet writes "The Kuwait Times, the newspaper that started the false rumor of Kuwait banning DSLR cameras, has posted an update saying that after investigation, it turned out they didn't verify their information. They have now issued a retraction. Quoting: 'The newspaper regrets failing to verify the information. The article wrongly stated that a ban on DSLR cameras was implemented by the Ministries of Information, Social Affairs and Finance. This information is false. In a follow up investigation, it was proved that no such ban has been issued. We regret this error and deeply apologize for any inconvenience caused.'"

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What 2D GUI Foundation Do You Use?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's maybe-it's-maybelline deptartment:
Zmee writes "I am looking to build a 2D application for personal use and I will need to use a canvas to paint custom objects. I am trying to determine what foundation to use and have not located a good side-by-side comparison of the various flavors. For reference, I need the final application to work in Windows; Linux is preferred, but not required. I have looked at WPF, Qt, OpenGL, Tcl/Tk, Java's AWT, and others. I have little preference as to the language itself, but each of the tutorials appear to require significant time investment. As such, I am looking to see what the community uses and what seems to work for people prior to making that investment."

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Canada's Federal Court of Appeal To Rule On Business Methods
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's must-need-a-distraction-from-the-maple-leafs deptartment:
ciaran_o_riordan writes "After last month's unfortunate ruling by Canada's Federal Court that Amazon's 1-click shopping idea could be patented, the Commissioner of Patents and the Attorney General of Canada have filed notice (PDF) to Amazon.com, Inc. (respondent) that an 'appeal will be heard by the [Federal Court of Appeal] at a time and place fixed by the Judicial Administrator,' probably Ottawa. This case, called Canada's Bilski, has been in the works since Amazon filed their patent application all the way back in 1998. Just like Bilski, the object of this case is what subject matter is and isn't patentable — a question which will create crucial case law, making participation in this case important. Anyone looking for more background, particularly those interested in helping to prepare an amicus brief for this case, is welcome at ESP's wiki page."

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Operation Payback Shuts Down IFPI Site
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 04:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's countering-a-distributed-denial-of-liberty-attack deptartment:
newtley writes "Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's main IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) website is down. Not coincidentally, there's an Operation Payback post addressing the Pirate Bay crew's lost sentencing appeal: 'Dear IFPI, MAFIAA and other parasites, The recent verdict in the Swedish Appeal Court (ThePirateBay spectrial) provoked this statement from Operation: Payback. We emphasize our statement with a Distributed Denial-of-Service attack aimed at the IFPI's website.'"

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Security Expert Warns of Android Browser Flaw
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's memory-leak-leading-to-robot-revolt deptartment:
justice4all writes "Google is working on a fix to a zero-day flaw discovered by British security expert Thomas Cannon that could lead to user data on a mobile phone or tablet device being exposed to attack. Cannon informed Google before posting information about the flaw on his blog. 'While doing an application security assessment one evening I found a general vulnerability in Android which allows a malicious website to get the contents of any file stored on the SD card,' Cannon wrote. 'It would also be possible to retrieve a limited range of other data and files stored on the phone using this vulnerability.'" Sophos's Chester Wisniewski adds commentary on how this situation is one of the downsides to Android's increasing fragmentation in the mobile marketplace.

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X-37B Secret Space Plane To Land Soon
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 02:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-secret-enough deptartment:
Phoghat writes "The highly classified X-37B Space Plane is scheduled to land soon. It was launched from Cape Canaveral in Florida on April 22 atop an Atlas 5 rocket, and the Air Force is still being very secretive on all aspects of the flight. We do know that it's set to touch down at Vandenberg Air Force Base's 15,000-foot runway, originally built for the Space Shuttle program. In many ways, the craft resembles a Shuttle with stubby wings, landing gear and a powerful engine that allows the craft to alter its orbit (much to the dismay of many observers on the ground). Its success has apparently given new life to its predecessor, the X-34, which had been mothballed."

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Satellites Spy On Black Friday Shoppers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bet-you-can't-see-through-my-roof deptartment:
MojoKid writes "Those satellites in space don't just take spy pictures. On this Black Friday 2010, they actually took pictures of you, and your rush to Black Friday shopping deals. The research is being done to see what consumer demand this year means for retail stocks. The trend, so far, has been favorable. The companies involved in this are Remote Sensing Metrics and Digital Globe. Remote Sensing Metrics is a Chicago-based consulting firm that analyzes the satellite imagery. In turn, it purchases those images from Colorado-based company Digital Globe, which operates its own satellites."

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DHS Seizes 75+ Domain Names
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's going-for-the-gusto deptartment:
Many readers have sent in an update to yesterday's story about the Department of Homeland Security's seizure of torrent-finder.com, a domain they believe to be involved in online piracy. As it turns out, this was just one of dozens of websites that were targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. "In announcing that operation, John T. Morton, the assistant secretary of ICE, and representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America called it a long-term effort against online piracy, and said that suspected criminals would be pursued anywhere in the world. 'American business is under assault from counterfeiters and pirates every day, seven days a week,' Mr. Morton said. 'Criminals are stealing American ideas and products and distributing them over the Internet.'" The TorrentFreak article we discussed yesterday has been updated with a list of the blocked sites.

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Early Look At Acer's Iconia Dual Touchscreen Device
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's inconvenience-of-a-table-with-the-weight-of-a-laptop deptartment:
iONiUM sends in news of an early glimpse at Acer's upcoming Iconia laptop, on which they've replaced the keyboard area with a second 14" display that accepts multi-touch input. "The upright display acts as the primary display, while the display that remains parallel with the surface generally serves as a navigation panel, alternatively displaying a roomy on-screen keyboard, a touch-wheel and other on-screen touch controls, or even an extension of what's displayed on the primary display. The latter option effectively provides a dual-monitor mobile device for presentations or studying complex spreadsheets across both monitors, or viewing one document in one monitor, and another on the second monitor. The two monitors make the Iconia a hefty device — at 6.1 pounds it's unlikely to be the device you throw in your bag for your commute." Engadget has some pictures and a video of the device.

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Windows Phone 7 Sales Continue To Struggle
Posted by News Fetcher on November 27 '10 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's clippy-to-the-rescue deptartment:
rtfa-troll writes "Even with the pre-Christmas buying rush, Microsoft is already desperately offering a new buy one get one free offer similar to the ones they gave for the KIN. According to the article, 'Windows Phone 7 devices can't even manage two per cent of the fortnight's sales.' These aren't official Microsoft figures; they come from online shopping sites. But since Microsoft official sales figures seem subject to manipulation, this is perhaps one of the better guesses we will get at the success of Windows Phone 7 until well into next year. This also strongly backs up other reports of deeply disappointing phone sales. Even Microsoft supporters have been wondering for a while whether it's time for Ballmer to go. If the sales reports are true, then he may be pushed before he jumps."

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