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FCC Vote Marks Effort To Take Greater Control of the Web
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's why-yes-I-would-like-more-pie deptartment:
GovTechGuy writes "The FCC voted today to open an inquiry into how the broadband industry is regulated, the first step in a controversial attempt to assert greater regulatory control over Internet Service providers. In a 3-2 vote the Democratic members of the Commission voted to move forward with the FCC's proposal to reclassify broadband as a telecom service, increasing the regulation it is subject to. The move also has large implications for net neutrality, which FCC Commissioner Julius Genachowski has made a focus under his watch."

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Bluecherry Releases GPL'd MPEG-4 Driver
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's radical-thinking deptartment:
azop writes "Today Bluecherry released a GPL'd driver for its multiple-input MPEG-4 hardware compression cards. The driver supports audio and video capture from 4, 8, and 16-channel single-card encoders using the Video4Linux and ALSA APIs. More information about the driver and its features can be found on Bluecherry's development blog and on Ben Collins' personal blog. Bluecherry is the first Linux software company to release a complete driver based on Linux kernel APIs (Video4Linux and ALSA) for multiple-input hardware-compressed MPEG-4 capture cards under the GPL. The cards are designed for security applications (Digital Video Recording); however, other applications could potentially make use of the compressed streams and Video4Linux API integration. An H.264 version is 'in the works.'"

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WordPress 3.0 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-even-wordier deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "WordPress 3.0, the thirteenth major release of WordPress and the culmination of half a year of work by 218 contributors, is now available for download and comes with 1,217 bug fixes and feature enhancements. Major new features in this release include a new default theme called Twenty Ten. Theme developers have new APIs that allow them to easily implement custom backgrounds, headers, shortlinks, menus (no more file editing), post types, and taxonomies."

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How Sperm Whales Offset Their Carbon Footprint
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's all-natural-solution deptartment:
Boy Wunda writes "Scientists at Flinders University in South Australia found that in an awesome example of design by Mother Nature, Southern Ocean sperm whales offset their carbon footprint by simply defecating – an action that releases tons of iron a year and stimulates the growth of phytoplankton which absorb and trap carbon dioxide. If only we humans could say the same for our poop, which really doesn't do much more than just sit there." I'm going to do my part by buying some iron supplements and a can of chili, and heading off towards the ocean.

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Developers' New Opportunity — Retailers' Open APIs
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's mashing-together-shoes-and-bags deptartment:
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister examines the recent trend among retailers to provide outside developers access to open APIs — one that promises opportunity for developers to transform retailer data transparency into lucrative business models. But whether the trend lives up to its potential remains to be seen, especially given the hurdles small and midsize businesses face launching programs similar to those in place at Amazon, Zappos, and Sears. 'There's a definite "Field of Dreams" quality to any such undertaking. Ask any company that hosts an open source software project how many outsiders actually commit code changes on a regular basis and you're likely to hear a discouraging figure,' McAllister writes. 'Similarly, just because a retailer builds an API doesn't mean anyone will actually use it. Given the uncertain prospects of return, it can be difficult to justify such an investment.'"

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Supreme Court Says Gov't Employee Texts Not Private
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's where-to-draw-the-line deptartment:
e9th writes "The Supreme Court, in a 9-0 ruling, has decided that government employers are entitled to examine all text messages sent with government-provided devices, even if the employee has agreed to pay for any excess message charges out of his own pocket. While the ruling only applies to government employees (at all levels), it may give private sector employees something to think about when using employer-provided devices."

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A Close Look at Apple's A4 Chip
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's a-novel-in-5-parts deptartment:
PabloSandoval48 writes "Apple's A4 pr4ocessor is heavily influenced by Apple's long established relationship with Samsung and represents an evolution rather than a revolution in circuit design. A team of experts takes a look at the evidence on A4 in an attempt to determine its origins and the influence of recent Apple acquisitions in the area of chip design."

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US Dept. of Energy Wants Bigger Wind Energy Ideas
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 09:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-wonder-what-brought-this-on deptartment:
coondoggie writes "The Department of Energy wants to kick up the research and development of offshore wind projects as it looks to achieve its goal of producing 20% of the country's electricity from wind farms by 2030. The DOE Wind Program is looking to focus on what it calls specific advanced technology, gigawatt-scale demonstration projects that can be carried out by partnerships with a wide range of eligible organizations and stimulate cost-effective offshore wind energy deployment in coastal and Great Lakes regions of the country. The agency is also looking for more research that can help address market barriers in order to facilitate deployment and reduce technical challenges facing the entire industry, as well as technology that will reduce cost of offshore wind energy through innovation and testing."

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First Self-Replicating Creature Spawned In Conway's Game of Life
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's emergent-gameplay deptartment:
Calopteryx writes "New Scientist has a story on a self-replicating entity which inhabits the mathematical universe known as the Game of Life. 'Dubbed Gemini, [Andrew Wade's] creature is made of two sets of identical structures, which sit at either end of the instruction tape. Each is a fraction of the size of the tape's length but, made up of two constructor arms and one "destructor," play a key role. Gemini's initial state contains three of these structures, plus a fourth that is incomplete. As the simulation progresses the incomplete structure begins to grow, while the structure at the start of the tape is demolished. The original Gemini continues to disassemble as the new one emerges, until after nearly 34 million generations, new life is born.'"

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FSF Starts Anti-ACTA Campaign
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 08:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's clean-up-your-acta deptartment:
judgecorp writes "Free Software Foundation president Richard Stallman has said in a blog post that the ACTA file-sharing proposals punish users unfairly. He wrote, 'Any time there is a proposal to change things for the worse, the obvious way to oppose it is to campaign for the status quo. To campaign for the status quo suggests the approach of singing its praises; thus, praising WIPO is a natural way to highlight how ACTA is a step for the worse. However, where there have been previous changes for the worse, lauding the status quo tends to legitimize them. The past 20 years have seen global waves of harmful changes in copyright law — some promoted by WIPO. To confront a further assault by presenting the status quo as ideal means we stop fighting to reverse them. It means that our adversaries need only propose a further affront to our rights to gain our acceptance of their last affront. Instead of making the status quo our ideal, we should demand positive changes to recover freedoms already lost.' The FSF has launched a petition against the ACTA proposals."

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Study Shows Monkeys Like Watching TV
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 08:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's jungle-news-network deptartment:
According to a Japanese study, monkeys are not immune to the siren call of the idiot box. It seems rhesus monkeys enjoy watching videos of circus animals. From the article: "The study found that when the monkey was witnessing the acrobatic performances of circus animals on a television screen, the frontal lobe area of its brain became vigorously active. The activity in such an area was significant in reflecting the monkey's pleasure, as the human equivalent is a neurological area associated with triggering delight in a baby when it sees the smile of its mother."

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California Tracks Parolees With GPS, Then Ignores Alerts
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's put-google-on-the-case deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Several years ago, California decided to require high-risk parolees, such as gang members and sex offenders, to wear GPS monitoring devices. The idea was to relay location information to law enforcement to ensure that the convicts stay where they're supposed to. Unfortunately, the state often misses acting on those alerts, making the devices both a lesson in the pitfalls of technology management and a massive exercise in largely useless spending."

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LimeWire Sued Again, Publishers Seek $150,000 Per Song
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 07:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's that's-my-style-i-like-to-kick-em-when-they're-down deptartment:
betterunixthanunix writes "Another lawsuit has been filed against LimeWire, this time by the National Music Publishers Association. They claim that LimeWire also damaged them, and seek $150,000 per infringement, putting the maximum possible damages in the hundreds of millions of dollars. LimeWire seems to have become the latest music industry punching bag. 'David Israelite, chief executive of the publishers' association, said his organization had decided to bring the complaint because most publishers were not represented in the record company lawsuit and they were now confident that they had a winning case. ... LimeWire, which says it is trying to start a new paid subscription model, said in a statement on Wednesday that it welcomed the publishers to the table. '"

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Why Intel Wants To Network Your Clothes Dryer
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 06:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's p2p-lint-sharing deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Intel has shown off a working prototype of a small box that, among other things, can monitor your clothes dryer to see how much it's contributing to your power bill. The Intelligent Home Energy Management proof-of-concept device is a small box with an 11.56" OLED touchscreen that is designed to act as an electronic dashboard for monitoring energy use in the home. By equipping devices like home entertainment systems and clothes dryers with wireless networked power adapters, the system can actually report back the power draw for a particular power point. Leave the house, and it can make sure power draining devices like that plasma TV are turned off. It is unlikely the device will enter production (there are apparently only four in existence), however this story about the box shows something we can expect to see in the home of tomorrow. Ultimately, it's not only about saving money, but also reducing load on the electricity grid by removing needless power use."

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DePaul University To Offer Degree In Predictive Analysis
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 05:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's tea-leaves-and-chicken-bones deptartment:
itwbennett writes "The Chicago-based DePaul University will offer what it says is the nation's first master's degree in predictive analysis, the school announced on Wednesday in conjunction with IBM, which will provide resources for the program. 'We realized there was a need to create a program that prepared students in careers in data analytics and business intelligence,' said Raffaella Settimi, an associate professor at DePaul's College of Computing and Digital Media, who helped craft the program. 'A lot of the professionals who work in these fields have a variety of backgrounds, but there really isn't a program dedicated to data analytics,' Settimi said."

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SpaceX and Iridium Sign $492M Launch Contract
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 04:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's bringing-home-the-bacon deptartment:
FleaPlus writes "Following up on the successful first launch of their Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX has signed a $492M deal for launching several dozen satellites for the Iridium NEXT constellation, the biggest commercial launch deal ever (teleconference notes). This is a needed boost for the US launch industry, which has dwindled to a fraction of the international market due to problematic ITAR arms regulations and high costs. SpaceX's next launch is scheduled for later this summer, carrying the first full version of the Dragon reusable capsule, which will run tests in orbit and then splashdown off the California coast."

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Employee Monitoring
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's watching-the-serfs-surf deptartment:
CWmike writes "Michael Workman, an associate professor at the Florida Institute of Technology's Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, estimates that monitoring responsibilities take up at least 20% of the average IT manager's time. Yet most IT professionals never expected they'd be asked to police their colleagues and co-workers in quite this way. How do they feel about this growing responsibility? Workman says he sees a split among tech workers. Those who specialize in security issues feel that it's a valid part of IT's job. But those who have more of a generalist's role, such as network administrators, often don't like it. Computerworld contributor Tam Harbert found a wide variety of viewpoints from IT managers, ranging from discomfort at having to 'babysit' employees to righteous beliefs about 'protecting the integrity of the system.'"

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Nintendo 3DS Early Impressions
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '10 at 02:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's new-ways-to-freak-out-your-cat deptartment:
Now that E3 attendees have had a chance to try out the new revision of Nintendo's portable console, critiques of the 3D effect and updated layout are starting to filter in. Opinion thus far has been mostly positive. Wired writes, "The graphics, which are much more advanced than you’d expect from Nintendo, left me pretty much in disbelief. They're on a level with Sony’s PSP, probably even a little better than that. But the eye-popping 3-D effect makes everything that much richer." According to the Guardian's Games blog, it works "beautifully." They add, "You can perceive 3D only if the console is directly in front of you, but this is fine for handheld gaming. I actually found it pretty adaptable in terms of viewing from different vertical positions. It was much more sensitive if the handheld was turned slightly to the left or right, but really, it coped perfectly with the slight shifts and jerks you'd get on a morning commute." During Shigeru Miyamoto's annual dev roundtable, he explained how Nintendo felt that particular types of games, such as shooters, benefit more from the 3D effect than others, and how Nintendo hopes to update as many older games as they can to incorporate 3D gameplay in addition to 3D graphics.

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NASA Says Moon Has More Water Than Great Lakes
Posted by News Fetcher on June 16 '10 at 11:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's water-and-cheese deptartment:
jerryjamesstone writes "The US Great Lakes have some competition: the moon. Yes, that old thing in the sky may hold more than all of the water contained in the Great Lakes, according to a NASA-funded study. From the article: 'Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory in Washington, along with other scientists across the nation, determined that the water was likely present very early in the moon's formation history as hot magma started to cool and crystallize. This finding means water is native to the moon.'"

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Fallout Online Website Arises Amid Legal Battle
Posted by News Fetcher on June 16 '10 at 10:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's how-refreshingly-unceremonious deptartment:
Rumors of a Fallout MMO have been swirling for years, made all the more credible by hints from the legal battle between Bethesda and Interplay over licensing for the franchise. Now, Interplay has quietly created a teaser website for Fallout Online, offering beta sign-ups. Quoting Massively: "Currently, there isn't much there, just a brief glimpse at a workshop desk with various Fallout references to the Master, Brahmin, and Nuka-Cola before a form obscures the screen. ... It looks legit, too: Interplay is promoting Fallout Online from their main website, and the new teaser site is indeed registered to Interplay Entertainment Corp."

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