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WordPress Creator GPL Says WP Template Must Be GPL'd
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's several-sticky-wickets deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Matt Mullenweg (the creator of open source blog software WordPress), after review by various legal experts, is sticking to his guns that themes and plugins that 'extend' WordPress violate the GPL if they are not themselves distributed under the GPL. Matt has gone so far as to post this on Twitter. According to Matt, the premium template called Thesis should be under the GPL and the owner is not happy about it. WordPress is willing to sue the maker of Thesis theme for not following GPL licensing. The webmasters and Thesis owners are also confused with new development. Mark Jaquith wrote an excellent technical analysis of why WordPress themes inherit the GPL. This is why even if Thesis hadn't copy-and-pasted large swathes of code from WordPress (and GPL plugins) its PHP would still need to be under the GPL."

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Open Source OCR That Makes Searchable PDFs
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's word-of-advice deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "In my job all of our multifunction copiers scan to PDF but many of our users want and expect those PDFs to be text searchable. I looked around for software that would create text searchable pdfs but most are very expensive and I couldn't find any that were open source (free). I did find some open source packages like CuneiForm and Exactimage that could in theory do the job, but they were hard to install and difficult to set up and use over a network. Then I stumbled upon WatchOCR. This is a Live CD distro that can easily create a server on your network that provides an OCR service using watched folders. Now all my scanners scan to a watched folder, WatchOCR picks up those files and OCRs them, and then spits them out into another folder. It uses CuneiForm and ExactImage but it is all configured and ready to deploy. It can even be remotely managed via the Web interface. Hope this proves helpful to someone else who has this same situation."

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Microsoft Makes Major Shift In Disclosure Policy
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's tread-water-faster deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "Microsoft is changing the way in which it handles vulnerability disclosures, now moving to a model it calls coordinated vulnerability disclosure, in which the researcher and the vendor work together to verify a vulnerability and allow ample time for a patch. However, the new philosophy also recognizes that if there are attacks already happening, it may be necessary to release details of the flaw even before a patch is ready. The new CVD strategy relies on researchers to report vulnerabilities either directly to a vendor or to a trusted third party, such as a CERT-CC, who will then report it to the vendor. The finder and the vendor would then try to agree on a disclosure timeline and work from there." Here's Microsoft's announcement of the new strategy.

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The World's Strongest, Most Expensive Beer Served Inside a Squirrel
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's it-still-beats-toe-drinks deptartment:
If you have $765 burning a hole in your pocket, and a penchant for drinking alcohol out of a taxidermied animal, the good folks at BrewDog have just the drink for you. Their latest creation, called The End of History, is a 110 proof beer that comes packaged in a variety of small stuffed animals.

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Brain Scans May Help Guide Career Choice
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's can't-see-past-my-metal-plate deptartment:
GisG writes "General aptitude tests and specific mental ability tests are important tools for vocational guidance. Researchers are now asking whether performance on such tests is based on differences in brain structure, and if so, can brain scans be helpful in choosing a career? In a first step, researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Research Notes have investigated how well eight tests used in vocational guidance correlate to gray matter in areas throughout the brain." The researcher's (provisional) paper is available as a PDF.

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Contextual Ads Based On Images
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 10:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's a-picture-and-a-thousand-nerds deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review reports on efforts to enable web ads to be targeted based on the content of online images, not text. All those user-generated photos on Facebook and Picasa could apparently be worth much more if it was possible to display adverts for pet food next to your snaps of your dog. Machine vision can apparently make that possible."

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'Bloatware' Becoming a Problem On Android Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-they're-just-pregnant deptartment:
elrous0 writes "According to a recent article in Wired, consumers of many new Android devices (including Samsung's Vibrant and HTC's EVO) are complaining about the increasing presence of something that has plagued consumer PC's for years: Bloatware (or, to use the more kind euphemism, 'Pre-installed software' that the computer manufacturer gets paid to include on a new PC). Unfortunately the bloatware (aka 'crapware') that comes with these phones has a nasty quality not found on even the most bloated PC: it can't be removed. Many angry consumers have begun to complain openly about this disturbing trend."

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Open Source GSM Cracking Software Released
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's oh-this'll-be-just-fine deptartment:
angry tapir writes "The GSM technology used by the majority of the world's mobile phones will get some scrutiny at next week's Black Hat security conference. An open source effort to develop GSM-cracking software has released software that cracks the A5/1 encryption algorithm used by some GSM networks. Called Kraken, this software uses new, very efficient, encryption cracking tables that allow it to break A5/1 encryption much faster than before."

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GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's who-regulates-the-regulators deptartment:
suraj.sun writes "Seven Republican senators have announced a plan to curb the Obama administration's push to impose controversial Net neutrality regulations on the Internet." "The FCC's rush to takeover the Internet is just the latest example of the need for fundamental reform to protect consumers" says Sen. Jim DeMint, who I'm sure truly only has the consumer's needs at heart since his campaign contributions list AT&T in his top 5 donating organizations.

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Micro Plane That Perches On Power Lines
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's look-up-in-the-air deptartment:
An anonymous reader wrote in to tell us about a microplane that perches on power lines to recharge its batteries being developed as a surveillance device at MIT. As you can imagine, landing on a power line is hard to do... and charging off transmission lines has its own problems.

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Forced iAds Coming To OS X?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's my-worst-nightmare deptartment:
mario_grgic writes "Apple insider brings a story about expansion and renewal of current 'Advertisement in Operating System' patent that Apple's Steve Jobs and other contributors have. The patent describes in detail (with OS X screen shots) how the forced ads would work (they would disable some OS functionality until the ad is viewed), but apparently it also applies to any device with UI including phones, TVs set top boxes etc. With recent Apple entry into mobile ad business, and ambition to own half of all the mobile ads served in second half of this year, it certainly makes one wonder if Apple would dare and put something like this in its desktop OS. I wonder if this would push more people to open source alternatives?"

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Apple Doesn't Appreciate Toilet Humor
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 06:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's evacuate-different deptartment:
beaver1024 writes "I doubt if Apple lawyers even contemplated the irony as they slapped a small Australian company producing camping equipment with a lawsuit for trademark violations. Sea to Summit makes a product that assists in the disposal of human excrement calling it iPood. Apple thinks that 'For obvious reasons, Apple's reputation for clean design and high-tech electronics will suffer should it be associated with latrines and the like through Sea to Summit's use of iPood.' If only Sea to Summit had the resources to fight this in court. Alas, we are witnessing yet another sign of the corrupted nature of IP laws in Australia and internationally."

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Outlook Plug-in Keeps Tone of Your Email In Check
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's vulcan-mail deptartment:
Meshach writes "A new plug-in for Outlook will warn you if an email you are about to send is 'too emotional'. Basically the plug-in scans the email for emotions such as elation, humiliation, excitement and fear. A user can set how much emotion they want to allow in their messages and if exceeded the threshold a warning will popup."

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Google's Free Satnav Outperforms TomTom
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sounds-pretty-badbad deptartment:
Barence writes "A real-world road test of several different satnav systems has found that the free Google Maps Navigation outperformed TomTom's premium GPS unit. PC Pro put the satnavs through four different real-world tests, covering country roads, inner-city traffic and motorway driving. The Google satnav finished the four tests more than half an hour ahead of the top of the range TomTom Go 950 Live. "For those in rural areas or people who spend hours in their car every day, we believe the investment in a dedicated satnav device or software will still pay off," PC Pro concludes. "But for the recreational user, it's amazing what you can get for free.""

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A Windows Phone 7 For Every Microsoftie
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's learning-from-the-zune deptartment:
theodp writes "So, how can Microsoft guarantee its Windows Phone 7 devices will enjoy broader adoption than the ill-fated Kin? By giving every Microsoft employee a free one, that's how. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the move, explaining that the idea is to thank employees for all their work, and make sure that they have experience with Windows Phone 7 devices. Microsoft has nearly 90,000 employees worldwide."

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Crytek Dev On Fun vs. Realism In Game Guns
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's rocket-jumping-is-as-real-as-it-needs-to-be deptartment:
An anonymous reader tips a post from Pascal Eggert, a gun enthusiast and Crytek developer, who sheds some light on how weaponry in modern shooters is designed. Quoting: "Guns in games are like guns in movies: it is all about looks, sounds and clichés. Just like in the movies, games have established a certain perception of weapons in the mind of the public and just like in movies games get almost everything wrong. ... The fact is that we are not trying to simulate reality but are creating products to provide entertainment. ... if you want to replicate the looks of something you need to at least see it, but using it is even better. You should hold a gun in your hands, fire it and reload it to understand what does what — and at that point you will realize, there is nothing on it that does not have a function — because guns are tools for professionals. Lot of weapon designers in the game industry get that wrong. They think of guns like products for consumers or magic devices that kill people at a distance when really it's just a simple and elegant mechanism that propels little pieces of metal. Unfortunately 3D artists often only get access to the photos that Google Image Search comes up with if you enter 'future assault rifle' or, even worse, pictures from other games and movies that also got it wrong. This may explain a lot of common visual mistakes in games, especially since guns are mostly photographed from the side and egoshooters show weapons from the first person view."

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37 States Join Investigation of Google Street View
Posted by News Fetcher on July 22 '10 at 12:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's loking-into-the-lookers deptartment:
bonch writes "Attorneys General from 37 states have joined the probe into Google's Street View data collection. The investigation seeks more information behind Google's software testing and data archiving practices after it was discovered that their Street View vans scanned private WLANs and recorded users' MAC addresses. Attorney general Richard Blumenthal said, 'Google's responses continue to generate more questions than they answer. Now the question is how it may have used — and secured — all this private information.'"

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US Targeting China In New Anti-Piracy Drive
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 10:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's most-pirated-nation-status deptartment:
oxide7 writes "The United States will make China 'a significant focus' of its beefed-up efforts to fight global piracy and counterfeiting of US goods ranging from CDs to manufactured products, a US official said on Wednesday. The International Intellectual Property Alliance, which represents US copyright industry groups, has estimated lost sales in China at more than $3.5 billion in 2009 due to piracy of US music, movies and software."

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World of Warcraft Can Boost Your Career
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 09:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tanking-the-boss deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Forbes reports that although videogames have long been thought of as distractions to work and education rather than aids, there is a growing school of thought that says game-playing in moderation, and in your free time, can make you more successful in your career. 'We're finding that the younger people coming into the teams who have had experience playing online games are the highest-level performers because they are constantly motivated to seek out the next challenge and grab on to performance metrics,' says John Hagel III, co-chairman of a tech-oriented strategy center for Deloitte. Elliot Noss, chief executive of domain name provider Tucows, spends six to seven hours a week playing online games and believes World of Warcraft trains him to become a better leader."

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Recettear: an Item Shop's Tale Localized
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 08:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's just-crazy-enough-to-work deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "An indie-produced item-shop-sim-slash-RPG, Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, has been localized and a demo released by the equally indie startup Carpe Fulgur LLC. The game is equal parts item shop sim (as in, item shop like the kind you find in every RPG ever, except you're behind the counter now) with certain Zelda- or Diablo-esque elements also present in the form of randomly-generated dungeons that you can grab an adventurer friend to go tromping through for loot to sell. The response so far has been pretty positive and it seems like Carpe Fulgur is trying to make a business of taking (non-pornographic) unique indie titles from Japan and getting them into a state where the rest of the world can enjoy them."

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