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4chan Has Been DDOSed
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's happens-to-everyone deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "According to the 4chan status page all of the 4chan boards have been DDOSed and are down."

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NASA To Continue Funding Canceled Ares Project Until March
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '10 at 05:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-even-firing-money-into-space deptartment:
wooferhound passes along this quote from the Orlando Sentinel: "Thanks to congressional inaction, NASA must continue to fund its defunct Ares I rocket program until March — a requirement that will cost the agency nearly $500 million at a time when NASA is struggling with the expensive task of replacing the space shuttle. About one-third of that money — $165 million — will go to Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, which has a $2 billion contract to build the solid-rocket first stage for the Ares I, the rocket that was supposed to fill the shuttle's role of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station. ... The odd scenario, in which NASA is throwing money at a canceled rocket program but can't fund a modernization program, is because of several twists in the legislative process that started a year ago and came to a head this month. At the root of the problem is a 70-word sentence inserted into the 2010 budget — by lawmakers seeking to protect Ares I jobs in their home states — that bars NASA from shutting down the program until Congress passed a new budget a year later. That should have happened before the Oct. 1 start of the federal fiscal year. But Congress never passed a 2011 budget and instead voted this month to extend the 2010 budget until March — so NASA still must abide by the 2010 language."

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Microsoft Kinect With World of Warcraft
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '10 at 03:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-some-exercise-while-you-raid deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies have developed software that enables control of PC video games using the Microsoft Kinect sensor. Their toolkit, known as the Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit (FAAST), emulates custom-configured keyboard controls triggered by body posture and specific gestures. This video shows a user playing the online game World of Warcraft using the Kinect. Potential applications of this technology include video games for motor rehabilitation after stroke and reducing childhood obesity through healthy gaming."

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Mozilla Posts File Containing Registered User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on December 28 '10 at 02:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's heads-up deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "Mozilla yesterday sent an email to registered users of its addons.mozilla.org site, letting them know that it had mistakenly posted a file to a publicly available Web server which contained data from its user database including email addresses, first and last names, and an md5 hash representation of user passwords."

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London Police Credit CCTV Cameras With Six Solved Crimes Per Day
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-to-be-installed-in-your-home deptartment:
stoilis writes "CCTV cameras across London help solve almost six crimes a day, the Metropolitan Police has said. According to the article, 'the number of suspects who were identified using the cameras went up from 1,970 in 2009 to 2,512 this year. The rise in the number of criminals caught also raises public confidence and counters bad publicity for CCTV.'"

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Tron: Legacy — Too Much Imagination Required?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 08:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-needs-it-when-we-have-cgi deptartment:
MoldySpore writes "Stepping back from the positive and negative reviews of the new Tron sequel, Tron: Legacy (which has so far amassed over $111,000,000 world-wide), something occurred to me after seeing the movie and reading the numerous reviews. It seems many of the reviews, and perhaps the reviewers themselves, can be split into two categories: those who saw the original Tron when it came out and can put the new movie in context, and those who either watched Tron recently to prepare for the sequel or never saw it and jumped right into the new movie." Read on for the rest of MoldySpore's thoughts.

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Greed, Zealotry, and the Commodore 64
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 05:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's and-nostalgia-flavored-candy deptartment:
jira writes "On the occasion of the Commodore 64's rebirth as an Atom-equipped nettop, the Guardian's Jon Blyth remembers what the original Commodore 64 taught him. Among other things: 'But look at it, all brown, ugly and lovely. It taught me so much. The Commodore 64 taught me about zealotry. After upgrading from the inferior ZX Spectrum, I would try to convince the Sinclair loyalists to follow me. I would invite them to my house, and let them see that with just eight colors and a monophonic sound chip, their lives lacked true depth. My evangelism quickly faded into impatience. So, I can now see why American Baptists get so miffy about atheists — it's horrible dealing with people who don't realize how much better you are.'"

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Auditors Question TSA's Tech Spending, Security Solutions
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 04:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's taxpayer-funded-fondlecrats deptartment:
Frosty P writes "Government auditors have faulted the TSA and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, for failing to properly test and evaluate technology before spending money on it. The TSA spent about $36 million on devices that puffed air on travelers to 'sniff' them out for explosives residue. All 207 of those machines ended up in warehouses, abandoned as unable to perform as advertised, deployed in many airports before the TSA had fully tested them. Since it was founded in 2001, the TSA has spent roughly $14 billion in more than 20,900 transactions with dozens of contractors, including $8 billion for the famous new body scanners that have recently come under scrutiny for being unable to perform the task for which they are advertised. 'TSA has an obsession of finding a single box that will solve all its problems. They've spent and wasted money looking for that one box, and there is no such solution,' said John Huey, an airport security expert."

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Ford To Offer Fuel-Saving 'Start-Stop' System
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 03:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's eventual-acceleration deptartment:
Ponca City writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that Ford plans to offer start-stop systems on many cars in 2012 that save fuel by turning an engine off when the vehicle is idling and quickly restart it when the driver releases the brake or steps on the gas pedal, improving fuel economy by 4% to 10%, depending on driving conditions. The system, common in Europe on cars with manual transmissions, is already in use in the US on gasoline-electric hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Automakers have been reluctant to add the feature to cars in the US because the testing method that the Environmental Protection Agency uses to determine fuel efficiency ratings doesn't include many stops and thus doesn't recognize the technology's effectiveness."

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Putin Orders Russian Move To GNU/Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's putin-on-his-tux deptartment:
Glyn Moody writes "Vladimir Putin has signed an order calling for Russian federal authorities to move to GNU/Linux, and for the creation of 'a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power.' There have been a number of Russian projects to roll out free software, notably in the educational sector, but none so far has really taken off. With the backing of Putin, could this be the breakthrough free software has been waiting for?"

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Using LED Ceiling Lights For Digital Communication
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's ceiling-light-is-helping-you-communicate deptartment:
PatPending writes "A Minnesota start-up company, LVX, is developing products under several patents and about a dozen pending applications, e.g., 'Building illumination apparatus with integrated communications, security and energy management,' that put clusters of LEDs in a standard-sized ceiling light fixture. The LEDs are in optical communication with special modems attached to office computers. The first generation of the LVX system will transmit data at speeds of about three megabits per second, roughly as fast as a residential DSL line. LVX Chief Executive Officer John Pederson said a second-generation system that will roll out in about a year will permit speeds on par with commercial Wi-Fi networks. It will also permit lights that can be programmed to change intensity and color. Pederson said the next generation of the system should get even more efficient as fixtures become 'smart' so the lights would dim when bright sunlight is coming through a window or when a conference room or hallway is empty. Hurdles: speed and installation costs. No word on the reliability and security of this system."

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Old Facebook Apps Still Plunder Your Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's never-gonna-give-you-up deptartment:
tcd004 writes "If you added the YouTube Facebook app prior to 2009, you're given YouTube free access to nearly all the data in your profile (as well as many of your friends). But if you install the same app today, it gets very limited access. Older versions of Facebook apps, it turns out, still have 'grandfathered' access to data that the social networking service has restricted for new apps. If you're protective of your privacy, it might be a good idea to delete and reinstall any older apps in your profile."

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Hello, Android Third Edition
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "The third edition of Hello, Android brings the book up to date on Android versions from 1.5 to 2.2 (FroYo). The book is predominantly tied to the Eclipse editing environment with several pages devoted to screen shots of the IDE. As the title suggests, this book aims to give the user the equivalent of a "Hello, world!" application in Android and succeeds in doing that but doesn't take the reader much further. From creating a sudoku application with increasing support to dabbling in OpenGL ES, the book's prime audience are people who know a little Java (with no aversion to Eclipse) and XML but absolutely no Android. You can find the source for all the examples." Keep reading for the rest of eldavojohn's review.

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California Rare-Earth Mine Reopens
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 10:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's antimony-arsenic deptartment:
burnin1965 writes in to let us know that the looming crisis in rare-earth materials (which we have discussed recently) has prompted Molycorp, the erstwhile operator of a California mine closed in 2002, to announce plans to reopen it. "With increasing prices on rare earth ore, tariffs raised by the Chinese government, and the threat of embargoes that would damage United States high-tech manufacturing Molycorp now has the needed incentive to reopen the California Mountain Pass mine. They will spend the capital needed to implement badly needed updates to environmental controls that will mitigate the radioactive waste water releases that plagued the mine in the past. Chinese imports in the 90s nearly halved ore prices and the California mine experienced multiple failures in environmental controls that resulted in the release of huge volumes of radioactive waste water. Updating the mine to address the environmental issues was not financially viable due to the cheap Chinese imports so it was closed in 2002." Within two years the mine could be producing 20% of the amount of rare earths we import from China.

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Satellite-Based Laser Hunts Woodpeckers From Space
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's where's-woody deptartment:
University of Idaho scientists have figured out a more effective way to track woodpecker populations than following the incessant laughter. They're using a laser onboard NASA's Icesat spacecraft to determine where the birds might be living. From the article: "NASA's Icesat satellite was initially intended for measuring glacial surfaces at the Earth's poles but has proven to be quite effective in measuring vegetation also. The satellite's laser bounces off of forest canopies, tree trunks and the ground making important characteristics about the forest easily measurable. For example, forest density is determined by the relative amount of light returned versus that which is returned from the ground. Once ideal woodpecker locations are identified 'we actually conduct ground-based woodpecker surveys in these locations as well to verify it,' says team-member Patrick Adam."

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North Magnetic Pole Racing Toward Siberia
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 09:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's slowly-swinging-needles deptartment:
RogerRoast sends along a backgrounder from Scientific American on the best current theory as to why the north magnetic pole drifts. "The NMP, also known as the dip pole, is the point on Earth where the planet's magnetic field points straight down into the ground. Scottish explorer James Clark Ross first located the NMP in 1831 on the Boothia Peninsula in what is now northern Canada... [T]he NMP drifts from year to year as geophysical processes within Earth change. For more than 150 years after Ross's measurement its movement was gradual, generally less than 15 kilometers per year. But then, in the 1990s, it picked up speed, ... bolting north–northwest into the Arctic Ocean at more than 55 kilometers per year. If it keeps going it could pass the geographic north pole in a decade or so and carry on toward Siberia."

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After IPv4, How Will the Internet Function?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 08:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's fractal-connectivity deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "36 countries in the world have over 100% per-capita usage of mobile phones, and this is driving a real crunch on IPv4 addresses as more and more of these devices are data-capable. The mobile network operators are acting fast to deploy IPv6, and T-Mobile USA has had an IPv6-only trial going on for over 9 months now using NAT64 to bridge to IPv4 Internet content. It is interesting to note that the original plan for IPv6 transition, dual-stack, has failed since IPv4 addresses are effectively already exhausted for many people who want them. Dual-stack also causes many other issues and has forced the IETF to generate workarounds for end users called happy eyeballs (implying that eyeballs are not happy with dual-stack), and a big stink around DNS white-listing. How will you ensure that your network, users, and services continue to work in the address-fractured world of the future where some users have only IPv4 (AT&T ), some users have only IPv6 (mobile and machine-to-machine as well as developing countries), and other Internet nodes have both?"

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African Villages Glow With Renewable Energy
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 07:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's don't-need-no-steenkin'-grid deptartment:
Peace Corps Online writes "The NY Times reports that as small-scale renewable energy becomes cheaper, more reliable and more efficient, it is providing the first drops of modern power to people who live far from slow-growing electricity grids and fuel pipelines in developing countries playing an epic, transformative role. With the advent of cheap solar panels and high-efficiency LED lights, which can light a room with just 4 watts of power instead of 60, these small solar systems now deliver useful electricity at a price that even the poor can afford. 'You're seeing herders in Inner Mongolia with solar cells on top of their yurts,' says energy adviser Dana Younger. In addition to small solar projects, renewable energy technologies designed for the poor include simple subterranean biogas chambers that make fuel and electricity from the manure of a few cows, and 'mini' hydroelectric dams that can harness the power of a local river for an entire village. 'It's a phenomenon that's sweeping the world; a huge number of these systems are being installed,' says Younger."

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Assange Has Signed Book Deals Worth $1.5 Million+
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 06:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thats-a-lotta-leaks deptartment:
cold fjord writes "Julian Assange has signed a major book deal for his autobiography worth more than one million pounds (1.2 million euros, 1.5 million dollars). Assange told Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that the money would help him defend himself against allegations of sexual assault made by two women in Sweden. 'I don't want to write this book, but I have to,' he said. 'I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.' The Australian said he would receive 800,000 dollars (600,000 euros) from Alfred A. Knopf, his American publisher, and a British deal with Canongate is worth 325,000 pounds (380,000 euros, 500,000 dollars). Money from other markets and serialisation is expected to raise the total to 1.1 million pounds, he said. Assange is currently out on £240,000 bail under what his lawyer refers to as not so much 'house arrest' as 'manor arrest', fighting extradition to Sweden for questioning. The Telegraph adds, 'Mr Assange said he regarded himself as a victim of Left-wing radicalism. Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,' he said. 'I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism.' .... A full extradition hearing is due in London on February 7th."

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Is Reading Spouse's E-Mail a Crime?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 27 '10 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ask-the-judge deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Detroit Free Press reports that Leon Walker is charged with unlawfully reading the e-mail of Ciara Walker, his wife at that time, which showed she was having an affair with her second husband, who once had been arrested for beating her in front of her son. Walker says he gave the e-mails to her first husband, the child's father, to protect the boy. 'I was doing what I had to do,' says Walker. 'We're talking about putting a child in danger.' Now prosecutors, relying on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, have charged Leon Walker with a felony for logging onto a laptop in the home he shared with his wife. Prosecutor Jessica Cooper defended her decision to charge Walker. 'The guy is a hacker,' says Cooper, adding that the Gmail account 'was password protected, he had wonderful skills, and was highly trained. Then he downloaded [the emails] and used them in a very contentious way.'"

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