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The Fashion Industry As a Model For IP Reform
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 12:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's rip-mix-burn deptartment:
Scrameustache writes "In this 15-minute TED talk, Johanna Blakley addresses a subject alien to most here — fashion — but in a way sure to grab our attention. The lesson is about how the fashion industry's lack of copyright protection can teach other industries about what copyright means to innovation. And yes, she mentions open source software. There is one killer slide at 12:20 comparing the gross sales of low-IP-protection industries with those of films and books and music. If you want to know more, or if you prefer text, the Ready To Share project website should give you all the data you crave on the subject."

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Work Underway To Return Xen Support To Fedora 13
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 10:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's how-many-xen-buddhists-does-it-take deptartment:
Julie188 writes "So details on this are admittedly sketchy, but both Red Hat and Xen.org have gone on record promising that some kind of support for the Xen hypervisor is forthcoming for Fedora users. As we know, on Monday, Fedora 13 was released and it was chock full of features to appeal to business users. One of the ballyhooed improvements to 13 is virtualization — meaning KVM and only KVM — for Red Hat. Xen was dropped from Fedora a few releases ago and it hasn't come back in 13, except that 13 still supports Xen guests. Meanwhile, 'work is underway in Xen.org to add platform support to Fedora 13 post-release,' promises Xen.org's Ian Pratt."

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Data Center Building Boom In Silicon Valley
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 08:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's if-you-build-it deptartment:
1sockchuck writes "Data center developers are building like mad in Silicon Valley, with seven active projects in Santa Clara alone. The building boom includes the resumption of several stalled projects that prompted concerns of a shortage of wholesale data center space in the Valley. The flurry of construction activity is different than the overbuilding during the dot-com boom, which was characterized by too much funding and too few customers. This time, industry experts say, the end of a funding drought has created a situation in which construction is struggling to stay ahead of demand from companies like Facebook — which just scarfed up an entire new data center in Santa Clara."

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Congressmen Send Letters, Hope For Net Neutrality Fades
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 06:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's making-sausage deptartment:
The odds of the FCC implementing net-neutrality rules just got much longer. "A bipartisan group of politicians on Monday told FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, in no uncertain terms, to abandon his plans to impose controversial new rules on broadband providers until the US Congress changes the law. Seventy-four House Democrats sent Genachowski... a letter saying his ideas will 'jeopardize jobs' and 'should not be done without additional direction from Congress.' A separate letter from 37 Senate Republicans, also sent Monday, was more pointed. It accused Genachowski of pushing 'heavy-handed 19th century regulations' that are 'inconceivable' as well as illegal. ...unless something unexpected happens, the fight over Net neutrality will shift a few blocks down Independence Avenue from the FCC to Capitol Hill. (In an editorial Monday, The Washington Post called for just that.)"

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Where Were You When PLATO Was Born?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 04:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's ask-socrates deptartment:
PLATO, cradle of so many firsts, was born 50 years ago. Next week the Computer History Museum is hosting a 2-day conference to celebrate the anniversary. Microsoft's Ray Ozzie, who worked on PLATO as an undergraduate, will be one of the keynote speakers. Co-producer Brian Dear has put together a list of today's technology notables and what they were doing in 1973, the year that social computing suddenly blossomed on PLATO.

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Secure Communication Comes To Android
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 03:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's speak-freely-now deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes is reporting that Moxie Marlinspike and Stuart Anderson's startup, Whisper Systems, has released a public beta of two Android applications that provide encrypted call and SMS capabilities for your Android phone. In the wake of recent GSM attacks, it'll be interesting to see if smartphones end up providing a platform that fundamentally changes the security we can expect from mobile communication."

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Why Windows 7 "Slate" Tablets Won't Happen
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 02:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's try-phone-seven-mobile deptartment:
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Galen Gruman questions the viability of Windows 7 on tablets in the wake of the news that HP will use Palm's WebOS as the foundation for iPad rivals, rather than follow through with the previously hyped Windows 7-based Slate. 'The iPad proved a tablet shouldn't be a portable computer that happened to have its screen always exposed. Even though technical components are shared between the Mac OS and the iPhone OS, the irrelevant Mac OS functions aren't gumming up the iPhone OS, and Apple's development environment doesn't let you pull through desktop approaches into your mobile applications. You're forced to go touch-native,' Gruman writes, adding that, when it comes to touch capabilities, Windows 7 leaves much to be desired. 'Sure, a few Windows 7 slate-style tablets will ship — Asus and MSI are said to have models shipping later this year. But those products will go nowhere, because Windows 7 is simply not the right operating system for a slate.'"

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Global "Last Mile" Performance Stats Going Public
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 01:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's last-shall-be-first deptartment:
Ookla, the company behind Speedtest.com, Pingtest.com, and the bandwidth testing apps deployed at many ISPs, has gone public with Net performance stats from 1.5 billion users (and counting). Their Net Index page displays download speed, upload speed, and connection "quality" from the EU and the G8, to countries, worldwide cities, and US states. Beginning today, the company is also making detailed (anonymized) data available to academics. "Ookla will also start surveying users about how much they pay for broadband and how much bandwidth they were promised by their ISPs. The results of those questions will go into building a Value Index, which will show how much people around the world pay per megabit-per-second for Internet access. In addition, by collecting postal codes from Speedtest users, Ookla hopes to map broadband service to local economic conditions, Apgar said. The Speedtest data could give the US government far more information to work with in setting priorities for its National Broadband Plan..."

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Privacy Machiavellis
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 01:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's prince-of-a-company deptartment:
Chris Jay Hoofnagle has a piece up at SFGate.com on what he calls the "privacy Machiavellis," which are exemplified by Google and Facebook. (The article is adapted from a longer treatment published last year, called "Beyond Google and Evil.") Hoofnagle heads the privacy foundation set up with money collected from settlements of privacy lawsuits against Facebook. From SFGate: "...you have no way to ask Google to stop this tracking. Instead, you can merely opt-out of the targeted advertising — the product recommendations. Exercising your privacy options creates a worst-case-scenario outcome: If you opt out, you are still tracked, but you do not receive the putative benefit of targeted ads. An illusory opt-out system is just one of the increasingly sophisticated sleights of hand in the privacy world. Consider Facebook's privacy options. .... Facebook can proudly proclaim that it offers ... more than 100 [choices]. Therein lies the trick; by offering too many choices, individuals are likely to choose poorly, or not at all. Facebook benefits because poor choices or paralysis leads consumers to reveal more personal information. In any case, the fault is the consumer's, because, after all, they were given a choice. Reader Kilrah_il sends word that Google has just released a tool that could alleviate some of the above worries: it stops tracking by Google Analytics for users of IE7+, Firefox 3.5+, and Chrome 4+. Perhaps Hoofnagle will comment on it here or elsewhere.

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Google Releases Chrome 5.0 For Win/Mac/Linux
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 12:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's ooh-shiny deptartment:
ddfall writes "Four months after the release of version 4.0 for Windows, Google has announced the availability of Chrome 5.0 for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux — the first stable release to be available on all three major platforms. Chrome 5.0.375.55 is available to download from google.com/chrome. Users who currently have Chrome installed can use the built-in update function."

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Amazon Kindle Fails First College Test
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 12:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's give-it-a-d deptartment:
theodp writes "If Amazon hoped for honest feedback when it started testing the Kindle DX on college campuses last fall, writes Amy Martinez, it certainly got its wish. Students pulled no punches telling Amazon what they thought of its $489 e-reader. But if Amazon also hoped the Kindle DX would become the next iPhone or iPod on campuses, it failed its first test. At the University of Virginia, as many as 80% of MBA students who participated in Amazon's pilot program said they would not recommend the Kindle DX as a classroom study aid (though more than 90 percent liked it for pleasure reading). At Princeton and Reed, students complained they couldn't scribble notes in the margins, easily highlight passages, or fully appreciate color charts and graphics. 'The pilot programs are doing their job — getting us valuable feedback,' said Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener. Martinez notes that Reed, Seton Hall, and other colleges plan to test the iPad in the fall to see if it can do better."

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Busting, and Fixing, Frame Busting
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 11:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's don't-frame-me-bro deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "A study presented last week at the IEEE Web Security and Privacy workshop shows that frame busting code used at popular Web sites is easily circumvented. Frame busting is a widely used technique to prevent clickjacking attacks. The researchers propose better frame busting code and suggest that Web sites migrate to this new code."

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Fedora 13 Is Out
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 10:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's if-that-hat-fits deptartment:
ultranerdz writes "Fedora 13 has just been released. It includes some major features like automatic print driver installation, automatic language pack installation, redesigned user account tool, color management to calibrate monitors and scanners, experimental 3D support for NVIDIA video cards, and more."

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Decency Group Says "$#*!" Is Indecent
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dirty-minds deptartment:
The Parents Television Council says the "$#*!" in the title of the upcoming CBS show $#*! my dad says is indecent. From the article: "'CBS intentionally chose to insert an expletive into the actual name of a show, and, despite its claim that the word will be bleeped, it is just CBS' latest demonstration of its contempt for families and the public,' declared PTC President Tim Winter. 'There are an infinite number of alternatives that CBS could have chosen but its desire to shock and offend is crystal clear in this decision.'" By this logic Qbert was the filthiest game ever made.

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Google Rolls Out Encrypted Web Search Option
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's step-in-the-right-direction deptartment:
KirinMercury writes "Google began offering an encrypted option for Web searchers on Friday and said it planned to roll it out for all of its services eventually. People who want to use the more secure search option can type 'https://www.google.com' into their browser, scrambling the connection so the words and phrases they search on, and the results that Google displays, will be protected from interception." Note that you need the 'www' for it to work. dropping it redirects you to a non-ssl page. You might have read this on Saturday, but if you missed it, it's still worth knowing.

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Review: Red Dead Redemption
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's remind-me-to-stay-away-from-men-with-guitars deptartment:
Western-themed shooters are not a particularly well-explored video game genre. When the first details of Red Dead Redemption began leaking out, there was skepticism that an open world in such a setting could rival the depth of the Grand Theft Auto series. One of Rockstar San Diego's biggest challenges was building a world that looked and felt like the cultural and historical image we have of the Wild West. It's a task with more constraints than in many similar games — futuristic sci-fi settings, stylized interpretations of modern places, or Tolkien-esque fantasy all allow nearly unbounded creativity — yet no less in scope. In Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar achieved this, building a world that is huge and unknown, yet still deeply familiar. Read on for the rest of my thoughts.

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Happy Towel Day
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 08:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's wringing-out-the-wit deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."

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Airship Inflated To Create Monster 'Stratellite'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's now-thats-a-name deptartment:
yoderman94 writes "A huge inflatable vehicle as long as a 23-floor skyscraper is tall has become the world's largest airship in its bid to serve as a stratospheric satellite, or 'stratellite,' according to its developers."

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Why We Still Need OSI
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's both-sides-of-the-debate deptartment:
ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes "In response to a comment on yesterday's blog, Simon Phipps writes about the old rivalry between the Free Software Foundation and the Open Source Initiative (OSI). 'I have been (and in plenty of ways still am) a critic of OSI, as well as a firm supporter and advocate of the FSF. I believe OSI should be a member organisation with a representative leadership. ... But the OSI still plays a very important and relevant role in the world of software freedom.' For instance: Licence approvals have become a much more onerous process, with the emphasis on avoiding creation of new licences, updating old or flawed ones, and encouraging the retirement of redundant ones. It would be great to see the stewards of some of the (in retrospect) incorrectly approved licences ask for their retirement."

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Google Audits Street View Data Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on May 25 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's we-meant-to-do-that deptartment:
schliz writes "Google's plans to upgrade to high-definition Street View in Australia are on hold until it completes a rigorous internal audit of the processes, it announced today. The company is currently being investigated by international regulators about possible privacy breeches when it became known that its street view vehicles were capturing not only publicly available SSIDs and MAC addresses, but also samples of payload data transmitted over these networks."

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