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Lawrence Lessig Reviews the Social Network
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's hey-mark-ping-me deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Lawrence Lessig — author, Harvard law professor, co-founder of Creative Commons — reviews 'The Social Network' in The New Republic and although Lessig says the movie is an "intelligent, beautiful, and compelling film" he adds that as a story about Facebook, it is deeply, deeply flawed because the movie fails to even mention the real magic behind the Facebook story and because while everyone walking out out of the movie will think they understand the genius of the Internet, almost none of them will have seen the real ethic of internet creativity that makes success stories like Facebook possible. "Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a "neutral network," a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform," writes Lessig. "And that is tragedy because just at the moment when we celebrate the product of these two wonders—Zuckerberg and the Internet—working together, policymakers are conspiring ferociously with old world powers to remove the conditions for this success. As "network neutrality" gets bargained away—to add insult to injury, by an administration that was elected with the promise to defend it—the opportunities for the Zuckerbergs of tomorrow will shrink." Lessig laments that the creators of the movie didn't understand the ethic of Internet creativity and thought that the real story was the invention of Facebook not the platform that made such democratic innovation possible. "Zuckerberg is a rightful hero of our time," concludes Lessig. "As I looked around at the packed theater of teens and twenty-somethings, there was no doubt who was in the right, however geeky and clumsy and sad. That generation will judge this new world. If, that is, we allow that new world to continue to flourish.""

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Verizon Wireless To Issue $90 Million In Refunds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-some-cash deptartment:
tekgoblin writes "Verizon Wireless had somehow been charging customers extra money on their bills for data that they actually hadn't been using. Approximately 15 million customers were affected by the erroneous billing error. According to BGR the FCC had been pressuring Verizon to respond to the hundreds of complaints that had been piling up. So Verizon's answer was to refund all of the overcharged money as soon as possible."

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The Binary Code In Canada's Gov-Gen Coat of Arms
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's always-drink-your-ovaltine deptartment:
Lev13than writes "Dr. David Johnston, formerly the president of the University of Waterloo, was installed as Canada's new Governor-General on Friday. As de facto head of state and the Queen's representative in Canada he is required to design a personal coat of arms. One modern detail has attracted particular attention - a 33-digit palindromic binary stream at the base. Efforts to decode the meaning of the number using ASCII, Morse, grouping by 3/11 and other theories has so far come up empty (right now it's a toss up between random, the phone number 683-077-0643 and Morse code for 'send help - trapped in a coat of arms factory.') Is 110010111001001010100100111010011 the combination to his luggage, or just a random stream of digits?"

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Anonymous Knocks Out Ministry of Sound Website
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's pirates-of-the-european deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The latest DDoS attack from Anonymous has knocked offline UK solicitor Gallant Macmillian's website, the Ministry of Sound Website and their payment website. Macmillian is currently looking for several hundred identities of suspected file-sharers, accused of uploading artists under the Ministry of Sound label."

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Bittorrent To Replace Standard Downloads?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's sharing-the-load deptartment:
Max Sayre writes "Have you ever tried to download an operating system update only to have it fail and have to start all over? What about patches for your favorite games? World of Warcraft already uses Bittorrent technology as a way to distribute large amounts of content at a lower cost to the company and faster speeds to all of their clients. So why haven't they replaced the standard downloading options built into any major OS? Companies like Opera are including the downloading of torrents in their products already and extensions have been written for Firefox to download torrents in-browser. Every day Bittorrent traffic is growing. Sites like OpenBittorrent already exist and DHT doesn't even require a tracker. So why isn't everyone doing it? Is it finally time to see all downloads replaced with Bittorrent?"

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US Lab Models Galaxy Cluster Merger
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-going-to-need-more-ram deptartment:
astroengine writes "The scales are mind-boggling and the physics is cutting edge, so how do you go about simulating the collision of two galactic clusters? Using some of the most powerful computers in the world, researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, the Flash Center at the University of Chicago and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have done just that."

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66% of All Windows Users Still Use Windows XP
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Almost one year after the introduction of Windows 7 it appears that the hype surrounding it has faded. The overall market share of Windows has turned into a slight decline again. Windows 7 is gaining share, but cannot keep pace with the loss of Windows XP and Vista. Especially Windows XP users seem to be happy with what they have and appear to be rather resistant to Microsoft's pitches that it is time to upgrade to Windows 7."

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Brooklyn Father And Son Launch Homemade Spacecraft
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's treehouse-not-so-cool-now deptartment:
Adair writes "A father and son team from Brooklyn successfully launched a homemade spacecraft nearly 19 miles (around 100,000 feet) above the Earth's surface. The craft was a 19-inch helium-filled weather balloon attached to a Styrofoam capsule that housed an HD video camera and an iPhone. The camera recorded video of its ascent into the stratosphere, its apogee where the balloon reached its breaking point, and its descent back to earth. They rigged a parachute to the capsule to aid in its return to Earth, and the iPhone broadcast its GPS coordinates so they could track it down. The craft landed a mere 30 miles from its launch point in Newburgh, NY, due to a quick ascent and two differing wind patterns. The pair spent eight months researching and test-flying the craft before launching it in August. Columbia University Professor of Astronomy Marcel Aguera said, 'They were very good but also very lucky.'"

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Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dog-eat-dog deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "We would like to think that the lawyers that are prosecuting alleged copyright infringers are practicing what they preach, but it looks like one of the most high profile firms involved in such cases are just as guilty of stealing others' work as those who are downloading illegal media."

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US Says Plane Finder App Threatens Security
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's dial-D-for-danger deptartment:
ProgramErgoSum writes "The Plane Finder AR application, developed by a British firm for the Apple iPhone and Google's Android, allows users to point their phone at the sky and see the position, height and speed of nearby aircraft. It also shows the airline, flight number, departure point, destination and even the likely course-the features which could be used to target an aircraft with a surface-to-air missile, or to direct another plane on to a collision course, the 'Daily Mail' reported. The program, sold for just 1.79 pounds in the online Apple store, has now been labelled an 'aid to terrorists' by security experts and the US Department of Homeland Security is also examining how to protect airliners. The new application works by intercepting the so-called Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcasts (ADS-B) transmitted by most passenger aircraft to a new satellite tracking system that supplements or, in some countries, replaces radar."

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66% of All Windows Users Still Use Windows XP
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '10 at 02:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's if-it-aint-broke-don't-fix-it deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Almost one year after the introduction of Windows 7 it appears that the hype surrounding it has faded. The overall market share of Windows has turned into a slight decline again. Windows 7 is gaining share, but cannot keep pace with the loss of Windows XP and Vista. Especially Windows XP users seem to be happy with what they have and appear to be rather resistant to Microsoft's pitches that it is time to upgrade to Windows 7."

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Denials Aside, Feds Storing Body Scan Images
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's we-are-neither-amused-nor-surprised deptartment:
The new generation of body scanners employed at airports (and many other places) can record detailed, anatomically revealing pictures of each person scanned, which is one reason they've raised the hackles of privacy advocates as well as ordinary travelers. Now, AHuxley writes "The US Transportation Security Administration claimed last summer that 'scanned images cannot be stored or recorded.' It turns out that some police agencies are storing the controversial images. The US Marshals Service admitted that it had saved ~35,314 images recorded with a millimeter wave system at the security checkpoint of a single Florida courthouse. The images were stored on a Brijot Gen2 machine. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to grant an immediate injunction to stop the TSA's body scanning program."

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Superman Comic Saves Family Home From Foreclosure
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 08:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's more-powerful-than-an-angry-banker deptartment:
A couple's home was saved from foreclosure after they found a copy of Action Comics #1 in a box in the basement. From the article: "In a statement released through ComicConnect, the owner of the prized comic book said the family was still 'a little shell shocked' after the unexpected find. 'I was so nervous when I realized what it was worth,' the owner said. 'I know I am very fortunate but I will be greatly relieved when this book finds a new home.'"

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Large Zeus Botnet Used For Financial Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's zeus-shorts-out-his-enemies deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "A large Zeus version 2 botnet is being used to conduct financial fraud in the UK and is operated from Eastern Europe. The botnet appears to be controlling more than 100,000 infected computers. The criminals have been harvesting all manner of potentially lucrative and revenue-producing credentials — including online account IDs plus login information to banks, credit and debit card numbers, account types plus balances, bank statements, browser cookies, client side certificates, login information for email accounts and social networks, and even FTP passwords."

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Coronal Mass Ejection Hits Earth
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's duck-and-cover deptartment:
astroengine writes "On Tuesday, the Earth was hit by a coronal mass ejection (CME), triggering a 'moderate' geomagnetic storm, igniting aurorae at high latitudes. The CME in question was launched from the sun early on Sunday and space weather scientists predicted its arrival on Aug. 3 — the vast magnetic bubble of solar plasma arrived on schedule."

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Hardware Hackers May the Next Frontier
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-hide-it-in-my-pocket deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "It's a given that hackers will target software, and that's enough for many people to worry about. But now there's the possibility that hackers would hide malicious code in the hardware itself. A hardware hack could be an annoyance, by stopping a mobile phone from functioning. Or it could be more dangerous, if it damages the way a critical system operates. Villasenor says there are several types of attacks. Broadly they would fall into two categories: one is when a block stops a chip from functioning, while the other involves shipping data out."

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Large Zeus Botnet Used For Financial Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's zeus-shorts-out-his-enemies deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "A large Zeus version 2 botnet is being used to conduct financial fraud in the UK and is operated from Eastern Europe. The botnet appears to be controlling more than 100,000 infected computers. The criminals have been harvesting all manner of potentially lucrative and revenue-producing credentials — including online account IDs plus login information to banks, credit and debit card numbers, account types plus balances, bank statements, browser cookies, client side certificates, login information for email accounts and social networks and even FTP passwords."

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Modded Nintendo Lets You Play Mario With Your Eyes
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's ever-more-lazy deptartment:
hasanabbas1987 writes "A group of engineers going by Waterloo Labs in Austin, Texas created a way of controlling an original NES by simply moving your eyes. By using electrodes placed around the eyes to track the movement of a players eyeballs, they were able to jury rig a Nintendo to accept eye movement as controller input." Quite the production on the video (attached below) too.

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Barnes and Noble Bookstore Chain Put In Play
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 04:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's more-clicks-less-bricks deptartment:
suraj.sun sends in word that the country's largest bookstore chain, Barnes and Noble, will put itself up for sale. "The news surprised analysts and alarmed publishers, who have watched as the book business has increasingly shifted to online retailers and e-book sales, leaving both chains and independent sellers struggling. ... For years, Barnes & Noble has been battered by large shifts in the publishing industry and the retail environment. Book sales have moved toward big-box stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and Target, and away from mall-based stores like B. Dalton, which Barnes & Noble acquired in the late 1980s. 'There's been a long series of pressures,' said David Schick, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore. 'The market has not been kind to bookstores, and it's for new reasons like competition with Apple and Amazon, and it's for old reasons, like what we believe has been a decline in reading for the last 20 years. Americans have devoted less of what we call media time to books.'"

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Why NASA's New Video Game Misses the Point
Posted by News Fetcher on August 04 '10 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-only-astronauts-could-rocket-jump deptartment:
longacre writes "Erik Sofge trudges through NASA's latest free video game, which he finds tedious, uninspiring and misguided. Quoting: 'Moonbase Alpha is a demo, of sorts, for NASA's more ambitious upcoming game, Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond, which will feature more destinations, and hopefully less welding. The European Space Agency is developing a similar game, set on the Jovian Moon, Europa. But Moonbase Alpha proves that as a recruiting campaign, or even as an educational tool, the astronaut simulation game is a lost cause. Unless NASA plans to veer into science fiction and populate its virtual moons, asteroids and planets with hostile species, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to suffer through another minute of pretending to weld power cables back into place, while thousands of miles away, the most advanced explorers ever built are hurtling toward asteroids and dwarf planets and into the heart of the sun. Even if it was possible to build an astronaut game that's both exciting and realistic, why bother? It will be more than a decade before humans even attempt another trip outside of Earth's orbit. If NASA wants to inspire the next generation of astronauts and engineers, its games should focus on the real winners of the space race — the robots.'"

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