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My Location the Next Google Privacy Controversy?
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '10 at 06:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's learning-to-trust-the-google deptartment:
theodp writes "While Google boasts one of its Privacy Principles is making the collection of personal information transparent, even techies are left guessing about what's going on behind the scenes of certain products. The American Dictator points out that Google's Wi-Fi collection efforts don't stop with its Street View cars, offering up this explanation of Google's My Location: 'When you allow Google to 'know your location,' what you are really agreeing to is to send to Google's computers your Wi-Fi environment — not only the name of the Wi-Fi hotspot you are logged into, but also the names and signal strengths of every Wi-Fi hotspot around you. In other words, the same things that those Google Street View cars were sucking up as they drove by your house.' So, will changes in privacy attitude prompt changes in Latitude?"

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New Hungarian Government OMG's All Gov Sites
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '10 at 06:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's they-forgot-the-ponies deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The new Hungarian government chose to replace the home pages with a 'disclaimer' page on several governmental websites such as ministries or the Foreign Office. The title and the main message is OMG, which is followed by an explanation that the inherited websites 'lack any kind of uniform structure' and this is 'unworthy of Hungary.' Today is the takeover day in most ministries for the new administration."

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Rent an iPad For Inflight Entertainment
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '10 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's would-you-like-an-apple-product-with-your-meal? deptartment:
OzPeter writes "Jetstar will start renting out of pre-loaded iPads as a form of inflight entertainment instead of the the more typical seat back video system. No word in the article on how or if they will handle wi-fi connections, but interestingly it does mention that they will be usable during takeoff and landings — something that will be sure to spark lots of discussion regarding planes and modern electronics."

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Hitachi-LG Debuts HyDrive, Optical Drive With SSD
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '10 at 04:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's two-in-one deptartment:
MojoKid writes "A fairly new Hitachi-LG joint venture announced the world's first hybrid optical drive, called the HyDrive. This unique device is a notebook optical drive with an SSD built in. So when you slide it into your machine and it connects via SATA 3Gbps, your computer recognizes not only a DVD burner / Blu-ray drive, but also a 32GB or 64GB SSD. This configuration allows you to have an SSD without taking up the single 2.5" storage slot within your laptop, so you could then have an optical drive, an SSD, and the standard hard drive as well. There are also a few nice tricks you can play in caching with the on-board SSD. Error correction techniques can be employed that allowed a damaged disk to be be playable." The HyDrive will ship to OEMs in August; a smaller version usable in netbooks is planned for 2011. The Register has some more technical details and specs.

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GCC Moving To Use C++ Instead of C
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '10 at 01:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's keeping-with-the-times deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "CodeSourcery's Mark Mitchell wrote to the GCC mailing list yesterday reporting that 'the GCC Steering Committee and the FSF have approved the use of C++ in GCC itself. Of course, there's no reason for us to use C++ features just because we can. The goal is a better compiler for users, not a C++ code base for its own sake.' Still undecided is what subset of C++ to use, as many contributors are experts in C, but novices in C++; there is a call for a volunteer to develop the C++ coding standards."

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Mobile Game Trojan Calls the South Pole
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 10:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's if-a-penguin-answers deptartment:
UgLyPuNk writes with an excerpt from Gamepron.com: "Freeware games can actually cost you more money than their pay-to-play cousins, as mobile gamers in the UK have learned. A 'booby-trapped' version of a popular Windows Mobile game has been sneakily spending their money while they sleep – by dialing phone numbers in the Antarctic behind their backs."

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"Canadian DMCA" Rising From the Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 07:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's once-more-to-the-barricades deptartment:
mandelbr0t writes "The Canadian Conservative government is preparing to reintroduce amended copyright legislation on Thursday (we discussed the rumor some weeks ago). Most sources say that the proposed legislation is very similar to Bill C-61, generally dubbed the 'Canadian DMCA.' It still includes definitions of 'technological protections' and criminalizes 'circumvention' of those protections. Bill C-61 died in the summer of 2008, facing massive opposition from the Canadian public. Once again, it's time for Canadians to get politically active; ORC ran a large campaign with the last attempt, and will likely be updated soon with the new proposed legislation." Read below for more of the submitter's thoughts on the coming battle.

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Google Reportedly Ditching Windows
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 05:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's it's-ok-microsofties-use-bing deptartment:
Reader awyeah notes a Financial Times report that Google is ditching the use of Windows internally. Some blogs have picked up the FT piece but so far there isn't any other independent reporting of the claim, which is based on comments from anonymous Googlers. One indication of possibly hasty reporting is the note that Google "employs more than 10,000 workers internationally," whereas it's easy enough to find official word that the total exceeds 20,000. "The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google's Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google... 'We're not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,' said one Google employee. ... New hires are now given the option of using Apple's Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. 'Linux is open source and we feel good about it,' said one employee. 'Microsoft we don't feel so good about.' ... Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from 'quite senior levels,' one employee said. 'Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,' said another employee."

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Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 04:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's can-you-hear-me-now-wait-where-am-i deptartment:
krou passes along word from Telegraph.co.uk that researchers from Chandigarh's Punjab University claim that they have proven mobile phones could explain Colony Collapse Disorder. "They set up a controlled experiment in Punjab earlier this year comparing the behavior and productivity of bees in two hives — one fitted with two mobile telephones which were powered on for two 15-minute sessions per day for three months. The other had dummy models installed. After three months the researchers recorded a dramatic decline in the size of the hive fitted with the mobile phone, a significant reduction in the number of eggs laid by the queen bee. The bees also stopped producing honey. The queen bee in the 'mobile' hive produced fewer than half of those created by her counterpart in the normal hive. They also found a dramatic decline in the number of worker bees returning to the hive after collecting pollen." We've talked about the honeybee problem before. Today's article quotes a British bee specialist who dismisses talk of cellphone radiation having anything to do with the problem.

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The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 03:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's zerg-or-be-zerged deptartment:
chajath writes with this excerpt from a South Korean newspaper about the lives of professional StarCraft players: "Prospective gamers take tests based on the skills they have picked up in PC rooms, and passing scores allow them entry into 'clans,' or guilds. Those who aspire to become pro gamers pay move-in fees and go to live at group dormitories, where they practice playing games all day long. Following a 'courage match' for semi-pro certification, the hopefuls must take a test to become apprentices in a pro-gaming group. ... 'The standard in pro gaming groups is for people to live together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no traveling to or from work, and for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games,' said Kim Jeong-geun. 'Because of this structure of bringing in young people, developing them, and then replacing them when their lifespan is spent and they have been squeezed dry, it has earned the name of "the chicken coop."'"

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Chameleon-Like Behavior of Neutrino Confirmed
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's yes,-neutrinos-eat-bugs deptartment:
Anonymous Apcoheur writes "Scientists from CERN and INFN of the OPERA Collaboration have announced the first direct observation of a muon neutrino turning into a tau neutrino. 'The OPERA result follows seven years of preparation and over three years of beam provided by CERN. During that time, billions of billions of muon-neutrinos have been sent from CERN to Gran Sasso, taking just 2.4 milliseconds to make the trip. The rarity of neutrino oscillation, coupled with the fact that neutrinos interact very weakly with matter, makes this kind of experiment extremely subtle to conduct. ... While closing a chapter on understanding the nature of neutrinos, the observation of neutrino oscillations is strong evidence for new physics. The Standard Model of fundamental particles posits no mass for the neutrino. For them to be able to oscillate, however, they must have mass.'"

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Publishers Campaign For Universal E-Book Format
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's they-also-want-a-pony deptartment:
As the battle rages for control of the e-book market, publishers are starting to unite behind a common desire: a universal e-book format. David Shanks, chief executive at Penguin Group USA, said, "Our fondest wish is that all the devices become agnostic so that there isn’t proprietary formats and you can read wherever you want to read. First we have to get a standard that everybody embraces." The company's president, Susan Petersen Kennedy, explained that book publishers did not want to "make the same mistakes as the music industry, which had an epic struggle over electronic distribution and piracy and lost huge market share."

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Foxconn Workers Getting Raise With Apple Subsidies
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's damage-control deptartment:
hackingbear writes "Workers at Taiwanese electronic outsourcing manufacturer Foxconn are getting a pay raise after a series of 13 suicides, including three in three consecutive days. According to an article by state-run newspaper China Daily, Apple concluded that the main cause of the suicides is low wages. (The media has also attributed the suicides to a variety of other factors — everything from the semi-military style of management, to long overtime, to China's one-child policy, and Foxconn paying too much compensation to the family of suicide workers, thereby encouraging copycat suicides.) Apple plans to subsidize raises using its own products (Google translation; Chinese original here) — the first one being the iPad. This would raise the outsourcing cost from 2.3% to 3% of the iPad's sales price. The article does not say the amount of the raise per worker, but it is rumored to be about 20%, according to other Chinese news sources."

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Pedestrian Follows Google Map, Gets Run Over, Sues
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 11:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's america-amazes-me-sometimes deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Toronto Star reports that a Utah woman is suing Google for more than $100,000 in damages, claiming its maps function gave her walking directions that led her onto a major highway, where she was struck by a car. Lauren Rosenberg sought directions between two addresses in Utah about 3 kilometers apart and the top result suggested that she follow a busy rural highway for several hundred meters. The highway did not have sidewalks or any other pedestrian-friendly amenities, and Rosenberg was struck by a car. Rosenberg filed suit against both the driver of the car that struck her and Google, claiming both carried responsibility in her injury. Her lawyers claim Google is liable because it did not warn her that the route would not offer a safe place for a pedestrian to walk. Google has pointed out that the directions Rosenberg sought come with a warning of caution for pedestrians, but Rosenberg claims that she accessed the Maps function on her Blackberry mobile device, where it did not include the warning."

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Ancient Cave Art May Depict Giant Bird Extinct For 40,000 Years
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 10:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's was-its-best-friend-a-wooly-mammoth deptartment:
grrlscientist writes "Recently studied Australian Aboriginal rock art may depict a giant bird that is thought to have become extinct some 40,000 years ago, thereby making it the oldest rock painting on the island continent. The red ochre drawing was first discovered two years ago, but archaeologists were only able to confirm the finding two weeks ago, when they first visited the remote site on the Arnhem Land plateau in north Australia. 'Genyornis was a giant flightless bird that was taller and heavier than either the ostrich or emu. It had powerful legs and tiny wings, and probably closely resembled ducks and geese, its closest living relatives. ... Interestingly, Genyornis bones have been excavated in association with human artifacts in Cuddie Springs in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is likely that humans lived alongside these birds, and some scientists think that humans may have contributed to their extinction."

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Asus Joins Tablet PC Race
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's aiming-for-a-piece-of-the-apple-pie deptartment:
WrongSizeGlass writes "Reuters is reporting that netbook pioneer Asustek Computer Inc. has become the latest technology company to jump on the tablet PC bandwagon. The device will be called the Eee Pad, will run on Intel or ARM chips, and use Microsoft's Windows operating system. 'The Eee Pad can display Adobe flash for the full web experience, has a USB port and a camera,' Asus Chairman Jonney Shih said. Asus did not release pricing details or a potential release date, and did not provide further details on the format or a launch date for the new app store."

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Breakthrough In Stem Cell Culturing
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 09:00 AM
By StoneLion from Slashdot's stem-celebration deptartment:
Science Daily reports that for the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been cultured under chemically controlled conditions without the use of animal substances, which is essential for future clinical uses. "Now, for the first time, we can produce large quantities of human embryonic stem cells in an environment that is completely chemically defined," says professor Karl Tryggvason, who led the study at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet. "This opens up new opportunities for developing different types of cells which can then be tested for the treatment of disease."

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New Sony OLED Display Can Roll Into Cylinder
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 08:15 AM
By StoneLion from Slashdot's still-can't-spindle-or-mutilate deptartment:
Anarki2004 writes "Sony recently debuted its latest in OLED technology: a 4.1-inch screen that's only 80 microns thick. The super-flexible display can roll up into a cylinder just 4mm in diameter while still showing moving images at 432×240 resolution. Instead of brittle integrated circuit chips, the screen has an on-panel gate-driven circuit — a world first, according to Sony. That innovation would allow everything but the power supply to roll and flex in applications."

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Clickjacking Worm Exploits Facebook 'Like' Feature
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 07:30 AM
By StoneLion from Slashdot's it's-no-robert-morris deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "For the last 24 hours, a series of attacks have exploited Facebook's 'Like' feature through a clickjacking vulnerability. Using subjects such as 'This Girl Has An Interesting Way Of Eating A Banana, Check It Out!' hackers have spread an attack that links to web pages that use invisible iFrames to trick users into saying they like the content. Users are presented with a innocent-seeming web page that says 'Click here to continue,' but clicking at any point on the page publishes the same message to their own Facebook page. Security blogger Graham Cluley says that hundreds of thousand of Facebook users have been hit, and offers advice on how to clean up affected Facebook profiles.

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Pakistan Lifts Ban After Facebook Deletes Offending Page
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '10 at 06:45 AM
By StoneLion from Slashdot's never-again-until-the-next-time deptartment:
crimeandpunishment writes "Facebook is back in Pakistan today. A day after Bangladesh banned the social networking site, the Pakistani government lifted its ban after officials from Facebook apologized for the 'Everybody Draw Mohammed Day' page and removed it from the site. The page caused outrage and protests among Pakistan's Muslim population, and led to the ban two weeks ago. A spokesman for Pakistan's office of information technology said Facebook assured the government 'nothing of this sort will happen in the future.'"

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