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Proposed Law Would Require ID To Buy Prepaid Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's stamps-too-because-of-ransom-notes deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced legislation that would require buyers to present identification when purchasing a prepaid cellphone and require phone companies to keep the information on file, as they do with users of landline phones and subscription-based cellphones. 'This proposal is overdue because for years, terrorists, drug kingpins, and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace,' says Schumer. Civil liberties advocates have concerns about the proposal, saying there must be a role for anonymous communications in a free society, adding that the space for such anonymous or pseudonymous communications has been narrowed since pay phones, for example, have largely disappeared."

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iPhone's PIN-Based Security Transparent To Ubuntu
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-I-hope-you-were-using-pig-latin deptartment:
ndogg writes "Security experts found that the iPhone 3GS has very little security, even with a PIN set up. They plugged one into Ubuntu 10.04, and it was automounted with almost all of the iPhone's data exposed. It has been reported to Apple, but they seem to be having difficulty reproducing the problem."

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Proposed Law Would Require ID To Buy Prepaid Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's stamps-too-because-of-ransom-notes deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced legislation that would require buyers to present identification when purchasing a prepaid cellphone and require phone companies to keep the information on file, as they do with users of landline phones and subscription-based cellphones. 'This proposal is overdue because for years, terrorists, drug kingpins, and gang members have stayed one step ahead of the law by using prepaid phones that are hard to trace,' says Schumer. Civil liberties advocates have concerns about the proposal, saying there must be a role for anonymous communications in a free society, adding that the space for such anonymous or pseudonymous communications has been narrowed since pay phones, for example, have largely disappeared."

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Symantec Finds Server Containing 44 Million Stolen Gaming Credentials
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's who-wants-to-buy-a-level-80-paladin deptartment:
A Symantec blog post reports that they recently stumbled upon a server hosting the stolen credentials for 44 million game accounts. They go on to explain how the owners of the server made use of a botnet to process that mountain of data. Quoting: "Now it's time to turn those gaming credentials into hard cash. But how do you find out which credentials are valid and thus worth some money? Three options come to mind: 1) Log on to gaming websites 44 million times! 2) Write a program to log in to the websites and check for you (this would take months). 3) Write a program that checks the login details and then distribute the program to multiple computers. Option one naturally seems next to impossible. Option two is also not very feasible, since websites typically block IP addresses after multiple failed login attempts. By taking advantage of the distributed processing that the third option offers, you can complete the task more quickly and help mitigate the multiple-login failure problems by spreading the task over more IP addresses. This is what Trojan.Loginck's creators have done."

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OLPC's XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming In 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's price-is-right deptartment:
itwbennett writes "During an interview Tuesday at the MIT Media Lab, OLPC project founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the group will have a working prototype of the XO-3 tablet by December of this year. 'At CES [2011] we will show a tablet that can be and will be used for children probably in the developed world,' Negroponte said. 'You'll see from us, God willing, an Arm tablet,' he said. 'The screen area will probably be a 9-inch diagonal, maybe more.' The most important feature will be a dual-mode display that will allow it to be used indoors and outdoors. Price: $75."

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OLPC's XO-3 Prototype Tablet Coming In 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's price-is-right deptartment:
itwbennett writes "During an interview Tuesday at the MIT Media Lab, OLPC project founder Nicholas Negroponte said that the group will have a working prototype of the XO-3 tablet by December of this year. 'At CES [2011] we will show a tablet that can be and will be used for children probably in the developed world,' Negroponte said. 'You'll see from us, God willing, an Arm tablet,' he said. 'The screen area will probably be a 9-inch diagonal, maybe more.' The most important feature will be a dual-mode display that will allow it to be used indoors and outdoors. Price: $75."

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Will Steve Ballmer Speak At WWDC Keynote?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's stranger-things-have-happened deptartment:
truthsearch writes "An analyst reports that not only will CEO Steve Jobs return to Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference stage — he missed last year for medical reasons — but he will be joined there by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdrey said that Microsoft has been given seven minutes during Jobs' keynote to talk about Visual Studio 2010. Chowdrey said that a new version of the development tools software will support native applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac OS."

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Gulf Oil Leak Plugged?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's no-harm-done-right deptartment:
RobHart writes "The LA Times is reporting that the Gulf oil leak appears to have been plugged by the 'top kill.' 'Thad Allen, who is coordinating the government response, says the well still has low pressure, but cement will be used to cap the well permanently as soon as the pressure hits zero.'"

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USAF Scramjet Hits Mach 6, Sets Record
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's get-where-yer-going deptartment:
s122604 writes "The [X-51A Waverider]'s scramjet engine accelerated the vehicle to Mach 6, and it flew autonomously for 200 seconds before losing acceleration. At that point the test was terminated. The Air Force said the previous record for a hypersonic scramjet burn was 12 seconds. Joe Vogel, Boeing's director of hypersonics, said, 'This is a new world record and sets the foundation for several hypersonic applications, including access to space, reconnaissance, strike, global reach and commercial transportation.' "

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Firefox Home Coming To iPhone, Browser Next?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 06:30 AM
By StoneLion from Slashdot's where-the-heart-is deptartment:
siliconbits writes "Mozilla has launched an iPhone app called Firefox Home that gives iPhone users instant access to their Firefox browsing history, bookmarks, and the set of tabs from their most recent browser session. What's more, it provides Firefox Awesome Bar capability that enables people to get to their favorite websites with minimal typing." With the Mozilla blog promising "There will be more to come," can the full browser be far behind?

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Weird Exoplanet Orbits Could Screw-Up Alien Life
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's stupid-newton deptartment:
astroengine writes "Life is good in the Solar System. We have Jupiter to thank for that. However, if the gas giant's orbit was a little more elliptical, there's every chance that Earth would become rather uncomfortable very quickly. So, researchers looking at the zoo of exoplanets orbiting distant stars have simulated several scenarios of differing exoplanet orbits and find that many don't resemble our cozy Solar System. In fact, weird exoplanet orbits may be the deciding factor as to whether extraterrestrial life can form or not."

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Berners-Lee Deconstructs a Bag of Chips
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 05:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-do-this-with-teeth deptartment:
itwbennett writes "At the O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Expo, being held this week in Washington, D.C., Tim Berners-Lee compared the concept of linked open data to a bag of Utz Kettle Classics Crunchy Potato chips. The explanation goes something like this:' The outside of the bag contains different sets of information, each using a different vocabulary and coming from a different source, Berners-Lee explained. The front of the package displays the name of the brand and the company's own marketing claim that the chips are crunchy. The back of the package has nutritional information, such as calories and vitamins, defined by terms generated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Finally, there is a Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on the bottom of the package, which is not understood by humans at all but rather is recognized by scanning machines globally as the moniker for the item. In other words, this single package of information actually is a collection of data and attributes that have been developed by multiple parties, not just Utz.'"

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Warner Bros. Accused of Pirating Anti-Pirating Tech
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's just-trying-it-out deptartment:
psycho12345 writes "German firm Medien Patent Verwaltung claims that in 2003, it revealed a new kind of anti-piracy technology to Warner Bros. that marks films with specific codes so pirated copies can be traced back to their theaters of origin. But like a great, hilariously-ironic DRM Ouroborus, the company claims that Warner began using the system throughout Europe in 2004 but hasn't actually paid a dime for it."

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Project Natal Pricing and Release Date Revealed
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 02:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's not-cheap deptartment:
tekgoblin writes "According to Edge-online.com, their source says that we can expect Microsoft's Project Natal to cost around $149. 'The figure for the standalone unit is significantly higher than a previous sub-£50 estimate, but less than pricing recently suggested by European retailers. It’s also more expensive than Sony’s Natal rival, Move, which will be available later this year with a game for less than $100.'"

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UK Newspaper Web Sites To Become Nearly Invisible
Posted by News Fetcher on May 27 '10 at 01:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's no-news-for-you deptartment:
smooth wombat writes "Various web sites have tried to make readers pay for access to select parts of their sites. Now, in a bid to counter what he claims is theft of his material, Rupert Murdoch's Times and Sunday Times web sites will become essentially invisible to web users. Except for their homepages, no stories will show up on Google. Starting in late June, Google and other search engines will be prevented from indexing and linking to stories. Registered users will still get free access until the cut off date."

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Mass Effect To Invade the Big Screen
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 11:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's seth-green-seems-like-a-lock deptartment:
UgLyPuNk writes "This could be a good thing or a bad thing: EA has just confirmed that they're making Mass Effect into a movie. The franchise has been acquired by Legendary Pictures, who are best known for their co-productions of The Dark Knight, Clash of the Titans, 300, Watchmen and, um, The Hangover, as part of their co-financing agreement with Warner Bros."

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Sudden Demand For Logicians On Wall Street
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 10:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's most-popular-guy-on-the-floor deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "In an unexpected development for the depressed market for mathematical logicians, Wall Street has begun quietly and aggressively recruiting proof theorists and recursion theorists for their expertise in applying ordinal notations and ordinal collapsing functions to high-frequency algorithmic trading. Ordinal notations, which specify sequences of ordinal numbers of ever increasing complexity, are being used by elite trading operations to parameterize families of trading strategies of breathtaking sophistication. The monetary advantage of the current strategy is rapidly exhausted after a lifetime of approximately four seconds–an eternity for a machine, but barely enough time for a human to begin to comprehend what happened. The algorithm then switches to another trading strategy of higher ordinal rank, and uses this for a few seconds on one or more electronic exchanges, and so on, while opponent algorithms attempt the same maneuvers, risking billions of dollars in the process."

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Lifelock Worries After Employee Data Leaked To Web
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's protect-that deptartment:
itwbennett writes "Last week, Phoenix New Times reporter Ray Stein revealed that LifeLock CEO Todd Davis (who famously published his Social Security number in LifeLock ads) had been the victim of identity theft, at least 13 times. This week, LifeLock made it clear that they're not so cavalier with their employees' personal data. The company asked the New Times to remove from its Web site a police report containing a redacted Social Security number, date of birth, address, and phone number of Lifelock employee Tamika Jones. In an interview, Stein said that the fact that LifeLock had to call and ask for the document to be removed reflected badly on Lifelock's service. 'I think this shows clearly that they know that it's got potential problems.'"

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Glaxo Open Sources Malaria Drug Search Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 05:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's free-as-a-mosquito deptartment:
smellsofbikes writes "Glaxo Smith Klein, the world's second-largest pharmaceutical company, is putting thousands of possible malaria-treating drugs into the public domain in a move that the Wall Street Journal calls a 'Linux approach' to pharmaceutical screening. Andrew Witty, who is described as the boss of GSK, says the company thinks it is 'imperative to earn the trust of society, not just by meeting expectations but by exceeding them.' Of course, synthesis or discovery of new chemicals is cheap compared to efficacy and qualification studies, but this is a refreshing change from not handing out *any* information until after everything is patented."

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Mixed Signs On the State of IT Education
Posted by News Fetcher on May 26 '10 at 05:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's you-get-what-you-pay-for deptartment:
snydeq writes "Advice Line's Bob Lewis comments on the mixed state of IT education in the U.S., one that sees some students graduating with computer-related degrees despite never having written a line of code. And while some institutions are emphasizing the value of teamwork in their curricula, an approach that fosters specialization in lieu of uniform standards, others are simply advertising their 'success rates' in graduating students. 'Education is a marketplace, and if you have the money and want to buy, you can find someone willing to sell,' Lewis writes. In other words, 'If you want a degree that indicates you know something about computers without having to actually know very much about computers, you can get one.'"

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