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JooJoo Tablet Dies, Fusion Garage Continues On
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's expiration-date deptartment:
vanstinator writes "Due to heavy competition from the iPad and a less-than-stellar entrance into the market, Fusion Garage today released a statement saying that the JooJoo tablet is no more." Company founder Chandrashekar Rathakrishnan says that the company will move forward, but hasn't provided much information about future products. According to Geek.com, "The JooJoo has had a short life and will be remembered more for the fighting it caused between Fusion and Michael Arrington than anything else. It started life as the CrunchPad and a collaboration between Arrington and Fusion Garage. Then Fusion cut Arrington out of the picture, the name was changed to JooJoo and the price increased from $200 to $500."

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Lizard Previously Unknown To Science Found On Vietnam Menu
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 12:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's try-the-bigfoot-burger deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "A lizard long served on the menu in the Mekong Delta has recently caught the attention of scientists when it was noted that all animals in the species appeared identical as well as female. The species appears to be a hybrid of two other species (like a mule or liger). But the curious thing is that this hybrid isn't sterile — it reproduces asexually. The species, known for some time in Vietnam, has now officially been named Leiolepis ngovantrii."

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Mystery 'Missile' Identified As US Airways Flight 808
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-what-they-want-you-to-think deptartment:
sean.peters writes "The mystery missile discussed on Slashdot Tuesday? It was US Airways 808 from Honolulu to Phoenix. An amateur sleuth checked the time against airline schedules, then the following day, checked out a webcam that was trained in the appropriate direction. He found the exact same contrail at the time AWE808 was coming over. The author deals persuasively with a number of objections to his argument."

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Military Uses 'Bat-Hook' To Tap Power From Lines
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 11:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's cutting-corners deptartment:
Zothecula writes "As soldiers are fitted out with more and more electrical sytems to extend their capabilities, they become increasingly dependent on the power needed to run them. Since soldiers in the field don't always have ready access to an electrical outlet when they need to top up the batteries, the US Air Force has developed a device that taps directly into the electricity flowing through overhead power lines ... a kind of bat-hook for real-life superheroes."

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UK Politician Arrested Over Twitter 'Stoning Joke'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watch-how-you-tweet deptartment:
History's Coming To writes "The BBC is reporting that a Tory city councillor has been arrested over a 'joke' he posted to Twitter suggesting that Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, a UK based writer, be stoned to death. The full tweet read 'Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan't tell Amnesty if you don't. It would be a blessing, really.' Following complaints he was arrested under the Communications Act 2003 and bailed. He has since apologised. This comes on the same day that a conviction for a Twitter 'joke' about blowing up an airport was upheld."

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Did the Windows Phone 7 Bomb In the US?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 10:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's now-wait-a-minute deptartment:
Thorfinn.au writes "Microsoft's new smartphone platform is off to what could be considered a slower start than expected in North America. That's according to The Street, which has released a report saying that the company sold some 40,000 units on its first day on the market. Early sales numbers from other phone platform launches include Apple's estimated 500,000 iPhones being snatched up during its launch weekend in 2007, and a million and a half G1 Android phones being bought up by T-Mobile subscribers in the phone's first six months." Do you know anyone with a one of these phones? Me either.

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Microsoft Patents Foot Computing
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's prior-art-your-butt deptartment:
theodp writes "Microsoft Research has made it possible for a mother to surf the web while nursing her newborn, thanks to its newly-patented 'foot-based user interface' (FUI?). 'In addition to causing health problems,' explains Microsoft in the patent, 'the traditional keyboard and mouse interface can be simply inconvenient in certain situations as well. In one instance, a mother with a baby in her arms is unable to easily perform simple tasks, such as checking email, on a computer.' Users of the 'Foot-Based Interface for Interacting With a Computer,' however, will be able to move their feet and step on the floor a la DDR to execute various commands, such as deleting email or scrolling down the screen. Due to the usual foot-dragging on the part of the USPTO, the patent — filed for in 2006 — was essentially obsolete by the time it was issued on Tuesday, a week after Microsoft's Kinect launch."

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FCC Investigating Google Street View Wi-Fi Data Collection
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's yeah-sorry-'bout-that deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "The Federal Communications Commission is looking into whether Google's Street View Wi-Fi data collection violated the Communications Act. At issue is a May admission from Google that equipment attached to its Street View cars collected data that was traveling over unencrypted Wi-Fi networks, known as payload data. At first Google said it did not know if that data included personally identifiable information, but the company admitted last month that it did include entire e-mail addresses, URLs, and passwords. Google has pledged to work with the FCC."

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How Often Should You Change Your Password?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 08:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's every-eight-seconds deptartment:
jhigh writes "Bruce Schneier asks the question, how often should you change your password? "The primary reason to give an authentication credential — not just a password, but any authentication credential — an expiration date is to limit the amount of time a lost, stolen, or forged credential can be used by someone else. If a membership card expires after a year, then if someone steals that card he can at most get a year's worth of benefit out of it. After that, it's useless." Another reason could be to limit the amount of time an attacker has to crack the password, but Bruce's analysis seems on target."

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UK Games Retailers Threaten Boycott of Steam Games
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's but-we-like-it-our-way-better deptartment:
RogueyWon writes "Games industry trade site MCV is reporting that two major UK video games retailers are threatening to ban Steam-enabled PC games from their stores. The as-yet-unnamed retailers are apparently concerned that by selling Steam games, they are pointing their customers towards a competitor and will by trying to bring pressure upon publishers to strip Steam functionality from their games. This could prove an interesting test of where the real power lies at the retail end of PC gaming."

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Feeling Upset? Look At Some Meat
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's the-calming-power-of-beef deptartment:
Meshach writes "A study out of Canada claims that seeing meat actually calms a person down. From the article: 'Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.'" I can see all the "Make Steak, Not War!" protest signs already.

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Motorola Countersues Microsoft Over 16 Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's sue-sue-sudio deptartment:
FlorianMueller writes "As if there weren't already enough patent suits related to smartphone technologies, Motorola just announced its widely anticipated countersuit against Microsoft. Its subsidiary Motorola Mobility filed complaints with two US District Courts (Southern District of Florida and Western District of Wisconsin). Motorola already litigates with Apple in those and other courts. According to Motorola, the patents relate to technologies in the fields of operating systems, video codecs, email, instant messaging, object-oriented software architectures, WiFi, and graphical passwords. Motorola claims Windows, the Live messenger, Windows Phone, Outlook and other Microsoft products infringe. Motorola's action is no surprise given that all of the companies sued over patent infringement by Android--with the exception of Google--have already countersued."

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3D Printing May Face Legal Challenges
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's printing-a-lawsuit deptartment:
angry tapir writes "A coming revolution in 3D printing, with average consumers able to copy and create new three-dimensional objects at home, may lead to attempts by patent holders to expand their legal protections, a paper from Public Knowledge says. Patent holders may see 3D printers as threats, and they may try to sue makers of the printers or the distributors of CAD (computer-aided design) blueprints, according to digital rights group Public Knowledge."

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World of Goo Dev Wants Big Publishers To Build Indie Teams
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's and-a-pony deptartment:
Ron Carmel, co-founder of game developer 2D Boy, which created the indie hit World of Goo, gave a speech at Montreal International Games Summit in which he encourages large game publishers to put more time and money into smaller, indie-like teams. Quoting GameSetWatch: "'We need a medium-sized design studio. Something that is larger than a typical indie, but has the same propensity for of talent density, focus, and risk-taking,' said Carmel, formerly an employee of major publisher Electronic Arts prior to going independent. Notably, a focus on profit must be eliminated from the equation. 'Creating this within a major developer doesn't present a problem,' said Carmel. With a budget of $1-$2 million dollars, 10 staffers could be hired to work on 'creatively ambitious and forward-thinking projects.' He likened it to the automobile industry, which alongside its mainstream consumer products works on concept cars — few of which enter production as regular models. The concept car is, said Carmel, 'a marketing expense to build your brand, and say, "Look at all the amazing things we're creating."' It also helps with recruitment. Said Carmel, 'there's no reason the larger game companies can't do that.' He also said that developers must move away from the notion that a team comprised primarily of programmers and artists can create a great work. Why do Valve's games have such amazing environments? Because, said Carmel, 'Valve has architects on staff.'"

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Australian State Govt. To Fund iPads For Doctors
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '10 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's nice-perk deptartment:
angry tapir writes "The current premier of the Australian state of Victoria, John Brumby, has promised every doctor in Victoria's public hospital system would be issued with an Apple iPad if his incumbent Labor Government was returned to power in the state's upcoming election."

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When DLC Goes Wrong
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '10 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's horse-armor deptartment:
kube00 writes "Poorly done downloadable content is one of a gamer's worst nightmares right now. Where a publisher stands to make some money, gamers get screwed. Whether it's the overpriced extra maps/costumes DLC, on-the-disc-at-launch DLC, or DLC that is nothing more than a remake of other content, no game is safe from bad DLC. That includes Modern Warfare 2, Bioshock 2, Uncharted 2 and a host of many other popular games. Is there a chance to fix this system?"

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Security App For the New German Personal ID Hacked
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '10 at 10:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's why-can't-I-be-you deptartment:
prefec2 writes "On Nov. 1st Germany started to issue new personal ID cards which include a security chip. In combination with a reading device and an application on a PC at home, secure transactions can be made. However, the required application can be compromised using DNS spoofing and a wrong SSL certificate (article in German)."

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US Army Develops Tooth Cleaning Gum
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '10 at 09:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forget-the-brush deptartment:
pryoplasm writes "To help deal with some of the hygenine issues on the battlefield, the US Army worked on a gum to take the place of brushing your teeth. This might be eventually released and marketed to the public. While there are many gums out there that aren't so detrimental to your teeth, this one promises actually to help them out."

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UK Terror Chief Blocked From Boarding Aircraft
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '10 at 08:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tonight-on-security-theater deptartment:
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Two days before toner cartridges threatened western civilization, Britain's Home Office minister Baroness Neville-Jones was en route to a Washington summit when she was found to have an over-sized aerosol can in her bag. While being questioned by airport security staff for transporting a container with more than 100ml of liquid, the Baroness seemingly took offense at being lectured on the importance of security procedure: 'Of course I know how important it is,' she said, 'I'm the Security Minister.' The Baroness is also former head of the British Joint Intelligence Committee, and was traveling at the time to discuss the war on terror with US security chiefs. According to a Home Office spokesman, trained in the use of the passive voice, 'Liquids were inadvertently left in a bag. The item was removed and the Minister fully complied with subsequent checks.'"

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Research Inches Toward Processor-Specific Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '10 at 05:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's acquiring-new-targets deptartment:
chicksdaddy writes "The Windows/Office/IE monoculture is disappearing faster than equatorial glaciers — Mac OS X and iOS, Linux and Android ... and whole new application ecosystems to go with each. That's bad news for malware authors and other bad guys, who count on 9.5 out of 10 systems running Windows and Microsoft applications to do their magic. What's the solution? Why, hardware specific hacks, of course! After all, the list of companies making CPUs is far smaller than, say, the list of companies making iPhone applications. Malware targeting one or more of those processors would work regardless of what OS or applications were installed. There's just one problem: its not easy to figure out what kind of CPU a device is running. But researchers at France's Ecole Superiore d'Informatique, Electronique, Automatique (ESIEA) are working on that problem. Threatpost.com reports on a research paper that lays out a strategy for fingerprinting processors by observing subtle differences in the way they perform complex floating point calculations. The method allows them to distinguish broad subsets of processor types by manufacturer, and researchers plan to refine their methods and release a tool that can make specific processor fingerprinting a snap."

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