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Boeing Shows Off First Commercial Spacecraft
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 06:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's lost-luggage-in-space deptartment:
coondoggie writes "Boeing today released the first public glimpse of the commercial spacecraft it is working on under an $18 million contract with NASA. Boeing's Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 can hold seven crew and will be bigger than Apollo but smaller than NASA's Orion, and be able to launch on a variety of different rockets, including Atlas, Delta and Falcon.The company envisions the spacecraft supporting the International Space Station and future Bigelow Aerospace Orbital Space Complex systems. Bigelow is building what it calls 'expandable habitats,' that which are inflatable spacecraft would act as large, less costly space stations."

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Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 04:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's grow-em-if-you-got-em deptartment:
Trintech writes "According to MSNBC: 'The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year. The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it. The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.' Yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation."

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NASA Creates First Global Forest Map Using Lasers
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-a-tree-is-measured-and-nobody-is-around-to-see-it deptartment:
MikeCapone writes "Scientists, using three NASA satellites, have created a first-of-its-kind map that details the height of the world's forests. The data was collected from NASA's ICESat, Terra and Aqua satellites. The latter two satellites are responsible for most of NASA's Gulf spill imagery. The data collected will help scientists understand how the world's forests both store and process carbon. While there are many local and regional canopy maps, this is the very first global map using a uniform method for measure."

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Facebook Wants Ownership Case Thrown Out
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 03:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's your-own-personal-facebook deptartment:
crimeandpunishment writes "Attorneys for Facebook and a New York man claiming majority ownership of the site faced off in a Buffalo courtroom Tuesday, and if Facebook gets its way there won't be too many more days in court. The site wants to get Paul Ceglia's claim thrown out of court. He claims a seven-year-old agreement with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg entitles him to 84 percent of the company. Facebook acknowledges Ceglia and Zuckerberg worked together, but says the contract Ceglia submitted was full of 'things that don't make sense'."

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Death Grip Tested On iPhone Competitors
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-deathy-enough deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "Given Steve Jobs' recent claims about 'Death Grip' being a common problem among smart phones, PCMag tested out six major iPhone competitors to see how they would react to the grip. The test included Motorola Droid X, T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide, Droid Incredible by HTC, BlackBerry Bold 9650, and the Samsung Captivate. The signal strength was measured in dBm, which typically ranges between -50 to -110 dBm (numbers closer to zero show better signal). Interestingly, the test results video showed mixed results. T-Mobile myTouch 3G and Samsung Captivate showed drastic changes, dropping down to -89 and -97 dBm respectively. On the other hand, while the signal strength dropped for HTC Droid Incredible, Motorola Droid X and Blackberry Bold, it wasn't as severe. Results of testing showed that not all phones reacted the same way to the typical death grip and required variations of it to bring about results."

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Cow Clicker Boils Down Facebook Games
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's lo-to-their-gelatinous-end-stage deptartment:
mjn writes "Game designer and academic Ian Bogost announces Cow Clicker, a Facebook game implementing the mechanics of the Facebook-games genre stripped to their core. You get a cow, which you can click on every six hours. You earn additional clicks if your friends in your pasture also click. You can buy premium cows with 'mooney,' and also use your mooney to buy more clicks. You can buy mooney with real dollars, or earn some free bonus mooney if you spam up your feed with Cow Clicker activity. A satire of Facebook games, but actually as genuine a game as the non-satirical games are. And people actually play it, perhaps confirming Bogost's view that the genre of games is largely just 'brain hacks that exploit human psychology in order to make money,' which continue to work even when the users are openly told what's going on."

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Digital Act Could Spur Creation of Pirate ISPs In UK
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's arrrr-what's-the-password-landlubber? deptartment:
scurtis writes "British anti-copyright group, Pirate Party UK, has predicted that Pirate ISPs will spring up across the country — promoting online privacy and allowing users to share files anonymously — in response to draconian file-sharing proposals outlined in the Digital Economy Act. The news follows reports that the Pirate Party in Sweden (PiratPartiet) will launch the world's first 'Pirate ISP.' The move is designed to curb the use of online surveillance in the country, and combat what PiratPartiet describes as the 'big brother society.'"

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Google's China Rival To Create Android-Like OS
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's open-source-is-a-nice-start deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "Google's biggest search rival in China — homegrown market leader Baidu, is to develop a Linux-based smartphone to rival the Californian search giant's Android-based devices."

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Obama Won't Intervene Over British Hacker McKinnon
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's unclenched-fist-dressed-in-velvet deptartment:
CWmike writes "President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he can't intervene in the long-running case of a British hacker charged with breaking into US military computers. Gary McKinnon's case came up during discussions with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Washington. The UK Home Office is reviewing whether McKinnon's medical condition is grounds to block his extradition to the US, which was approved in 2006. McKinnon has yet to stand trial in the US, where he was indicted by the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2002 for hacking into 97 military and NASA computers between February 2001 and March 2002. Obama said during a press conference with Cameron that by tradition US presidents do not get involved in extraditions or prosecutions. 'I trust that this will get resolved in a way that underscores the seriousness of the issue, but also underscores the fact that we work together and we can find an appropriate solution,' Obama said."

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Playboy Launches Safe For Work Website
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's porn-now-without-nudity deptartment:
If you're one of the three people in the world who actually reads Playboy for the articles, today is your lucky day. Every young boy's favorite magazine to find in their uncle's closet has launched a "safe for work" website. From the article: "TheSmokingJacket.com will contain none of the nudity that makes Playboy.com NSFW - not suitable for work. Instead, it'll rely on humor to reach Playboy's target audience, men 25 to 34 years old, when they are most likely to be in front of a computer screen."

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Nexus One a Failed Experiment In Online Sales
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-a-nice-phone deptartment:
shmG writes "The demise of the Google Nexus One phone is fairly straightforward: a lack of sales killed the product. While it will continue to sell through Vodafone in Europe, KT in Korea and a few others, the experiment of Google indicates that selling a phone direct to consumers online is dead. 'The bottom line is people like to look at phones in the store. Google has a lot to learn about phone sales, this is one lesson they learned.'"

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Author Drops Copyright Case Against Scribd Filter
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 09:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's damned-if-you-don't deptartment:
natehoy writes "Apparently, monitoring for copyright violations is not in itself a copyright violation, lawyers for Elaine Scott decided. As a result, they have dropped the lawsuit against Scribd, who was being simultaneously sued for allowing copies of Scott's work to be published, and retaining an unlicensed copy of the work in their filtering software to try and prevent future copyright violations."

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Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 08:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's seeing-is-believing deptartment:
A 3-year-old Onion video entitled, "Martial Law Plans Revealed?" Has swept across the internet recently, and taken the gullible along with it. The video has some preaching from the highest mountain top about the evils of a government turning fascist, and an equal number explaining until red in the face what The Onion is.

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Lightspark 0.4.2 Open Source Flash Player Released
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's gotta-start-somewhere deptartment:
suraj.sun writes "The Lightspark project has released version 0.4.2 of its free, open source Flash player. According to Lightspark developer Alessandro Pignotti, the alternative Flash Player implementation is "designed from the ground up to be efficient on current and (hopefully) future hardware". The latest release of Lightspark features better compatibility with YouTube videos, sound synchronization support and the ability to use fontconfig for font selection. Other changes include plug-in support for Google's Chrome/Chromium web browser and support for Firefox's out of process plug-in (OOPP) mode, which was added in version 3.6.4 of the browser."

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Scientists Discover Biggest Star
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's bigger-than-miley deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Scientists at the University of Sheffield have discovered the most massive stellar giant, R136a1 measured at 265 solar masses, using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile and data from the Hubble Space Telescope, in the Tarantula Nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a small 'satellite' galaxy which orbits the Milky Way. Previously, the heaviest known stars were around 150 times the mass of the Sun, known as the "Eddington Limit", and this was believed to be close to the cosmic size limit because as stars get larger, the amount of energy created in their cores grows, faster than the force of gravity which holds them together. "Because of their proximity to the Eddington Limit they lose mass at a pretty high rate," says Professor Paul Crowther, the chief researcher in the Sheffield team. Hyper-stars like R136a1 are believed to be formed from several young stars merging together, and are only found in the very heart of stellar clusters. R136a1 is believed to have a surface temperature of more than 40,000 degrees Celsius, and is 10 million times brighter than the Sun. Crowther adds that R136a1 is about as big as stars can get. "Owing to the rarity of these monsters, I think it is unlikely that this new record will be broken any time soon.""

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Dell Ships Infected Motherboards
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's scanners-do-nothing deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Computer maker Dell is warning that some of its server motherboards have been delivered to customers carrying an unwanted extra: computer malware. It could be confirmation that the 'hardware trojans' long posited by some security experts are indeed a real threat."

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Google Bows To China's Censorship Demands
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's information-wants-to-be-filtered deptartment:
bonhomme_de_neige writes "China renewed Google's internet license after it pledged to obey censorship laws and stop automatically switching mainland users to its unfiltered Hong Kong site, an official said. Google promised to 'obey Chinese law' and avoid linking to material deemed a threat to national security or social stability, said Zhang Feng, director of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology's Telecoms Development Department, at a news conference."

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Is Open Source SNORT Dead?
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's migrate-to-chortle deptartment:
alphadogg writes "Is Snort, the 12-year-old open-source intrusion detection and prevention system, dead? The Open Information Security Foundation (OISF), a nonprofit group funded by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to come up with next-generation open source IDS/IPS, thinks so. But Snort's creator, Martin Roesch, begs to differ, and in fact, calls the OISF's first open source IDS/IPS code, Suricata 1.0 released this week, a cheap knock-off of Snort paid for with taxpayer dollars. The OISF was founded about a year and a half ago with $1 million in funding from a DHS cybersecurity research program, according to Matt Jonkman, president of OISF. He says OISF was founded to form an open source alternative and replacement to Snort, which he says is now considered dead since the research on what is supposed to be the next-generation version of Snort, Snort 3.0, has stalled."

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US Senate Passes 'Libel Tourism' Bill
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 04:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's words-you-never-heard-in-the-bible deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "AFP reports that the US Senate has passed (by a 'unanimous consent' voice vote) a bill that prevents US federal courts from recognizing or enforcing a foreign judgment for defamation that is inconsistent with the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. If the bill becomes law it will shield US journalists, authors, and publishers from 'libel tourists' who file suit in countries where they expect to get the most favorable ruling. 'While we cannot legislate changes to foreign law that are chilling protected speech in our country, we can ensure that our courts do not become a tool to uphold foreign libel judgments that undermine American First Amendment or due process rights,' said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy. Backers of the bill have cited England, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, and Singapore as places where weak libel safeguards attract lawsuits that unfairly harm US journalists, writers, and publishers. The popular legislation is headed to the House of Representatives, which is expected to approve it. 'This bill is a needed first step to ensure that weak free-speech protections and abusive legal practices in foreign countries do not prevent Americans from fully exercising their constitutional right to speak and debate freely,' said Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on Leahy's committee."

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Sony Patents 3D Screen-Sharing Technology For Two Players
Posted by News Fetcher on July 21 '10 at 03:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's hey-an-actual-useful-feature deptartment:
Stoobalou writes "Sony has recently published patents which will allow two-player 3D gaming on a single screen. The new technology could spell an end to split-screen gaming, but is unlikely to see the light of day for a few years at least. Sony's method would allow player one to see frames one and three whilst player two would see frames two and four. Current technology requires a display with a 120 Hz refresh rate so it seems likely that we'll have to wait for 240Hz screen technology to become commonplace before two-player 3D becomes a reality. PDFs versions of the two patents are available."

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