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Sites Guilty of Hi-Jacking History
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 08:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's break-out-the-foil-hats deptartment:
Gunkerty Jeb writes "A recent study launched by the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science to determine the scope of privacy-violating information flows at popular websites shows that popular Web 2.0 applications such as mashups, aggregators, and sophisticated ad targeting are teeming with various kinds of privacy-violating flows. Ultimately the researchers determined that such attacks are not being adequately defended against."

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Amazon Web Services Launches DNS Service
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's welcome-to-the-holiday-dolldrums deptartment:
wiredmikey writes "Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service designed to give developers and businesses a reliable and cost effective way to route end users to Internet applications. The service, 'Route 53,' effectively connects user requests to infrastructure running in Amazon Web Services (AWS) — such as an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance, an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer, or an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket — and can also be used to route users to infrastructure outside of AWS."

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Is Twitter Censoring Wikileaks Trends?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 07:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's or-just-sick-of-it deptartment:
comforteagle writes "There are suspicions coming to the surface this morning that Twitter may be censoring Wikileaks related tweets from forming a trending topic. Why is still unclear at this point as during Iranian protests a short while ago twitter appeared to be in the fray of helping to spread the word. As of this morning it appears that Twitter may have some explaining to do. One of Twitter's engineers has chimed in over the weekend, but some aren't convinced."

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Facebook Rolls Out Redesigned Profile Pages
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's we-fear-change deptartment:
alphadogg writes "The [Facebook Profile] changes include a clustered listing of biographical information under the user name at the top of the page, including such details as the person's job, hometown, relationship status, where they went to college, what languages they speak and birthdate. Beneath that will appear a set of the five most recent photos that a user allows to be posted at their profile page." The changes unsurprisingly are being met with mixed opinions ranging from rage to anger.

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Keeping Google's Consumer OS Options Straight
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 05:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's who-would-ever-want-local-storage deptartment:
According to Engadget, among others, Google is expected to show off the state of the Chrome OS on Tuesday of this week, and perhaps even to show off a netbook running the cloud-centric system. Since many of the things that Chrome OS does are also within the scope of Google's other consumer OS, Android, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has written a guide to the differences, as he sees them, between Android and Chrome OS.

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Homemade Robotic Xylophone Plays Holiday Melodies
Posted by News Fetcher on December 06 '10 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's percussion-from-a-distance deptartment:
compumike writes "Just in time to add a bit of geeky holiday cheer to your office, this video demonstrates how to build a robotic xylophone featuring handmade solenoids and aluminum bars, and shows it playing several classic holiday tunes. New songs can be programmed in with C macros, and this project could even be extended to perhaps play a melody when a new e-mail arrived or a software build has finished compiling!"

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Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 11:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-all-mathy deptartment:
parallel_prankster writes "I find this paper very amusing. From the abstract: 'To develop a mathematical model for the determination of total areas under curves from various metabolic studies.' Hint! If you replace phrases like 'curves from metabolic studies' with just 'curves,' then you'll note that Dr. Tai rediscovered the rectangle method of approximating an integral. (Actually, Dr. Tai rediscovered the trapezoidal rule.). Apparently this is called 'Tai's Model.'"

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'I Just Need a Programmer'
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 08:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's next-step-solve-all-problems deptartment:
theodp writes "As head of the CS Department at the University of Northern Iowa, Eugene Wallingford often receives e-mail and phone calls from eager entrepreneurs with The Next Great Idea. They want to change the world, and they want Prof. Wallingford to help them. They just need a programmer. 'Many idea people,' observes Wallingford, 'tend to think most or all of the value [of a product] inheres to having the idea. Programmers are a commodity, pulled off the shelf to clean up the details. It's just a small matter of programming, right?' Wrong. 'Writing the program is the ingredient the idea people are missing,' he adds. 'They are doing the right thing to seek it out. I wonder what it would be like if more people could implement their own ideas.'"

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Playstation Phone "Zeus" Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's two-birds-one-rock deptartment:
tekgoblin writes with this excerpt from Tekgoblin: "A video has surfaced on YouTube which shows the new Playstation Phone now called the Zeus. Rumors had surfaced that the phone would be announced on December 9th but with this leak the rumors have now been made fact. The phone is called the Sony Ericsson ZEUS (Playstation Phone). The demo video shows the phone running Android 2.3 codename Gingerbread. The video also shows the phone with the standard Playstation buttons along with a touch pad in the center. The controller for the phone is placed normally where a physical keyboard would be."

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Gentlemen Prefer Androids, Ladies iOS
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's gender-bias deptartment:
Ponca City writes "PC World reports that women are more likely to buy an iPhone for their next smartphone purchase, while men prefer Android devices. According to data collected in October 2010, 31 percent of women wanted to buy an Apple iOS device next, followed by 22.8 percent interested in a Google Android device while among men preferences were reversed with 32.6 percent of men interested in an Android purchase and 28.6 desired an iOS phone. 'So where is the extra appeal of Android to men coming from?' asks Tracey E. Schelmetic. 'More male-targeted commercials that emphasize cool gadgetry versus usability? More techno-macho phone brand names like "Droid"? Extra advertising on the Spike channel by phone makers using the Android platform?'"

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FTC Is In Talks With Adobe About the 'Flash Problem'
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's would-you-like-a-delicious-cookie deptartment:
jamie links to news that the FTC is talking with Adobe about persistent Flash cookies. "Flash isn't actually necessary to watch YouTube videos, but the rest of this article is interesting."

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With Better Sharing of Intel Comes Danger
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's always-a-tradeoff deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Ellen Nakashima writes in the Washington Post that after the intelligence community came under heavy criticism after 9/11 for having failed to share data, officials sought to make it easier for various agencies to share sensitive information giving intelligence analysts wider access to government secrets but WikiLeaks has proved that there's a downside to better information-sharing. To prevent further breaches, the Pentagon has ordered that a feature that allows material to be copied onto thumb drives or other removable devices be disabled on its classified computer systems and will limit the number of classified systems from which material can be transferred to unclassified systems, as well as require that two people be involved in moving data from classified to unclassified systems. The bottom line is that recent leaks 'have blown a hole' in the framework by which governments guard their secrets. According to British journalist Simon Jenkins 'words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not.'"

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Report Finds More Aussie Gov't Workers Misusing Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's surely-that-would-never-happen-here deptartment:
destinyland writes "A new report to Australia's parliament announces a 54% increase in government workers misusing the internet. In fiscal year 2010, 313 different federal workers came under investigation for improper use of e-mail or the internet, up from just 202 in the previous year. The report — available online as a PDF file — also discovered that nearly half the investigated workers were in the Australian Tax Office, according to an Australian technology blog. 'Maybe it's just a case of particularly boring work making such distractions more attractive,' they suggest, since the report blames most of the discovered cases on one-time incidents of poor judgment."

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Japanese Robot Picks Only the Ripest Strawberries
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's worry-when-it-starts-tasting-them deptartment:
kkleiner writes "The Institute of Agricultural Machinery at Japan's National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, along with SI Seiko, has developed a robot that can select and harvest strawberries based on their color. Ripened berries are detected using the robot's stereoscopic cameras, and analyzed to measure how red they appear. When the fruit is ready to come off the vine, the robot quickly locates it in 3D space and cuts it free. From observation to collection, the harvesting process takes about 9 seconds per berry. Creators estimate that it will be able to cut down harvesting time by 40%."

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Avoiding DMCA Woes As an Indy Game Developer?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's jealously-guarded deptartment:
androidstevep writes "I was just on the receiving end of DMCA takedown notice for my game in Android Market, 'Super Pac.' Namco Bandai have filed the notice with Google, claiming breach of copyright of their game 'Pac-Man.' Although my version is obviously inspired by the original arcade game, no original artwork or sound has been copied. The problem from my point of view is that the DMCA notice is not clear where or why the breach is alleged. My guess is that maybe the name is too similar, although I did a trademark search for 'Super Pac' before release and came up with nothing. Furthermore, Google have disabled my access to this app, presumably as required by the DMCA, so I am unable to even make whatever modifications would be required. As a part-time developer with limited means (ie can't afford expensive lawyers), but willing to make best efforts to avoid legal issues, how does one negotiate what seems to be a difficult minefield of trademarks, copyrights and DMCA? Does anyone have tips in this area?"

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WikiLeaks Took Advice From Media Outlets
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pentagon-papers-on-the-resume deptartment:
formfeed writes "According to the AP (through Google News), Wikileaks isn't just sitting on the recent material so they can release it bit by bit to the press, as many people implied. On the contrary, it's quite the other way around: 'only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material' are they releasing it themselves. These Newspapers 'have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents.' AP questions whether Wikileaks will follow these redactions, but nevertheless seems quite impressed by this 'extraordinary collaboration between some of the world's most respected media outlets and the WikiLeaks organization.'" I wonder if some of the anti-Wikipedia fervor evident among US lawmakers will also be brought to bear against the AP and other mainstream media sources.

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Using the Web To Turn Kids Into Autodidacts
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's not-quite-unschooling deptartment:
theodp writes "Autodidacticism — self-education or self-directed learning — is nothing new, but the Internet holds the promise of taking it to the masses. Sugata Mitra, an Indian physicist whose earlier educational experiments inspired the film 'Slumdog Millionaire,' is convinced that, with the Internet, kids can learn by themselves so long as they are in small groups and have well-posed questions to answer. And now, Mitra's Self-Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) are going global, with testing in schools in Australia, Colombia, England and India. On their own, children can get about 30% of the knowledge required to pass exams, so to go further, Dr. Mitra supplements SOLE with e-mediators, amateur volunteers who use Skype to help kids learn online."

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Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Makes a First Appearance
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's depends-what-you-want-to-produce deptartment:
srimadman writes "The Alpha 1 Release of Ubuntu 11.04, often known as 'Natty Narwhal,' is intended as a developer snapshot of the next major Ubuntu version, which is due in April." So, if you want to try Unity and Wayland before your neighbors do, this is the time.

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Paid Developers Power the Linux Kernel
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's back-in-your-day-maybe deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Believe it or not, there is still this illusion that Linux and open-source software is written by counter-culture, C++ programming cultists living in their parents' basements or huddled together in Cambridge, Mass. group-houses. Now CNet reports that the Linux Foundation has found that 'over 70% of all [Linux] kernel development is demonstrably done by developers who are being paid for their work.' That Linux is primarily developed by paid developers should come as no surprise considering that Linux enables many companies — hardware, software, and online services — to be more competitive in their markets and to find new ways to generate revenue. 'What's important about how Linux and open-source software is created isn't the side issues of politics or how its developers are perceived; it's that its fundamental methodology produces better software,' writes Stephen Vaughan-Nichols."

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Silverlight 5 — Back From the Dead?
Posted by News Fetcher on December 05 '10 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's undying-support deptartment:
Barence writes "When Microsoft executive Bob Muglia recently revealed that Microsoft saw HTML5 as the future for universal in-browser development while Silverlight was being repositioned as a native application development platform for Windows Phone 7 devices, most pundits saw this as an admission of defeat. Now Microsoft has released a beta of Silverlight 5, PC Pro's Tom Arah asks if Microsoft has managed to bring Silverlight back from the dead. With a flurry of Android and Linux-based tablets, smartphones, set-top boxes and other devices set to arrive on the market, Arah argues that Silverlight's time will come. 'Crucially, they will also want to integrate their desktop (Windows) and their main applications (Office and other WPF-based applications). Thanks to its work on HTML5, WPF and especially Silverlight, Microsoft and its army of desktop developers will be well set to deliver,' he argues."

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