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Mozilla Labs Add-On Provides Video and Audio Recording From the Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's straightforward-enough deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla Labs is working on an experimental add-on which enables video and audio recording in the browser. Anant Narayanan writes on the Mozilla Labs blog, 'The Rainbow add-on for Firefox is an early developer prototype that enables web developers to access local video and audio recording capabilities using just a few lines of JavaScript. The add-on generates files encoded in open formats: Theora (for video) and Vorbis (for audio) in an Ogg container. The resulting files are accessible in DOM using HTML5 File APIs, which may be used to upload them to a server.' Support for live streaming and WebM is planned for a future version of the add-on."

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Verizon To Pay $25M For Years of 'Mystery Fees'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's honestly-we-had-no-idea deptartment:
Ponca City writes "The Washington Post reports that The FCC has reached a record $25 million settlement with Verizon Wireless over the company's wrongly charging subscribers "mystery" Internet fees over the past several years — the largest settlement in FCC history. With the action, Verizon Wireless's total costs associated with false data fees reached $77.8 million, one of the largest payouts for false business practices in the communications services industry. 'People shouldn't find mystery fees when they open their phone bills — and they certainly shouldn't have to pay for services they didn't want and didn't use,' says FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. 'In these rough economic times, every $1.99 counts.' Verizon Wireless said in a news release that its overcharges were inadvertent. 'We accept responsibility for those errors, and apologize to our customers who received accidental data charges on their bills.'"

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Adobe Warns of Critical Flash Bug, Already Being Exploited
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's dirty-captalists deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "On the same day that it plans to release a patch for a critical flaw in Shockwave, Adobe confirmed on Thursday morning that there is a newly discovered bug in Flash that is being actively exploited already in attacks against Reader. The vulnerability affects Flash on all of the relevant platforms, including Android, as well as Reader on Windows and Mac, and won't be patched for nearly two weeks. The new Flash bug came to light early Thursday when a researcher posted information about the problem, as well as a Trojan that is exploiting it and dropping a pair of malicious files on vulnerable PCs. Researcher Mila Parkour tested the bug and posted a screenshot of the malicious files that a Trojan exploiting the vulnerability drops during its infection routine. Adobe has since confirmed the vulnerability and said that it is aware of the attacks against Reader."

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Forming New Mobile Networks With People-Borne Sensors
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's game-of-telephone deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from Medical Daily: "Members of the public could form the backbone of powerful new mobile internet networks by carrying wearable sensors. According to researchers from Queen's University Belfast, the novel sensors could create new ultra high bandwidth mobile internet infrastructures and reduce the density of mobile phone base stations. The engineers from Queen's renowned Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), are working on a new project based on the rapidly developing science of body centric communications."

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Launch Command Preserved In Power Failure, But Nuclear Designs Still Risky
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's look-we've-increased-and-decreased-risk deptartment:
With a follow-up to Tuesday's story, Martin Hellman writes "Slashdot reported that a system failure at Warren AFB in Wyoming affected 50 ICBMs and that 'various security protocols built into the missile delivery system, like intrusion alarms and warhead separation alarms, were offline.' Assuaging fears that America's nuclear deterrent might have been compromised during this failure, the source article notes that the missiles still could be launched from airborne command centers. Other reports cite an administration official offering assurances that 'at no time did the president's ability [to launch] decrease.' Given the difficulty of debugging software and hardware that is probably not a good thing. The history of nuclear command and control systems has too many examples of risky designs that favor the ability to launch over the danger of an accidental one."

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Time To Rethink the School Desk?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's time-to-rethink-school-generally deptartment:
theodp writes "As part of its reimagine the 21st-century classroom project, Slate asks: Is the best way to fix the American classroom to improve the furniture? While adults park their butts in $700 Aeron chairs, kids still sprawl and slump and fidget and dangle their way through the day in school furniture designed to meet or beat a $40 price point. 'We've seen in adults that if you put them in the right chair, their performance increases,' says Harvard's Jack Dennerlein. 'Is the same true for children? I can't see why not.' For school districts with deep pockets, there are choices — a tricked-out Node chair from IDEO and Steelcase can be had for $599."

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For Firefox 4, You'll Need To Wait Until 2011
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's they-wanted-a-prime-number deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla said that it will not be releasing Firefox 4 RC, or the final version, before early 2011. Apparently, the bugfixes in the current beta take up much more time than anticipated. Mozilla is working on the feature freeze release Beta 7, which has 14 bugs left. The beta 7 is about six weeks behind schedule and will be released "when it is ready", according to Mozilla. It seems as if the original schedule, which estimated that Firefox 4 RC would be released in the second half of October was a bit too optimistic. Microsoft, by the way, released a new IE9 platform preview (PP6) at PDC 20910 today."

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1928 Time Traveler Caught On Film?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 10:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's I-hate-time-travel-stories deptartment:
Many of you have submitted a story about Irish filmmaker George Clarke, who claims to have found a person using a cellphone in the "unused footage" section of the DVD The Circus, a Charlie Chaplin movie filmed in 1928. To me the bigger mystery is how someone who appears to be the offspring of Ram-Man and The Penguin got into a movie in the first place, especially if they were talking to a little metal box on set. Watch the video and decide for yourself.

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Prosecutors Request Closed Courtroom For Goldman HFT Programmer's Trial
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's sealed-in-carbonite deptartment:
dave562 writes "Goldman Sachs' lawyers have asked the Federal judge to seal the court room during the trial of Sergey Aleynikov. Aleynikov was one of the programmers who developed Goldman's High Frequency Trading (HFT) programs. What does this say about the state of the financial industry? Given the problems HFT seems to have caused over the last few years, shouldn't more light be shined into the dark corners of how it works?"

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School Children Are Now Too Fat to Fit In Class Chairs
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 10:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's we're-gonna-need-a-bigger-pizza-boat deptartment:
A recent survey of 750 Australian schools has revealed that on average children have grown too large for their chairs and desks. From the article: "The Education Department said schools were running healthy eating programs. 'The department takes the issue of childhood obesity seriously and works with a number of agencies to address the issue,' a spokesman said. 'We have a number of initiatives to support school communities as well as promote healthy eating.' He said parents needed to enforce the message about healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle at home."

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The iPhone Serial Port Hack
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 09:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's totally-top-secret deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The iPhone's little known secret, a hidden serial port, is revealed. 'The real benefit in all of this is that there are so many console packages for iPhone in Cydia now that you can have a fully functional computer, as useful as a Linux box, but without carrying around a laptop.'"

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40 Million Year Old Primate Fossils Found In Asia
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 09:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's look-who's-coming-to-dinner deptartment:
sosaited writes "It has been widely believed that our ancestors originated out of Africa, but a paper published in Nature by Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists puts this in doubt. The paper is based on the fossils of four primate species found in Asia which are 40 million years old, during which period Africa was thought to not have these species. The diversity and timing of the new anthropoids raises two scenarios. Anthropoids might simply have emerged in Africa much earlier than thought, and gone undiscovered by modern paleontologists. Or they could have crossed over from Asia, where evidence suggests that anthropoids lived 55 million years ago, flourishing and diversifying in the wide-open ecological niches of an anthropoid-free Africa."

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Diablo 3 Hands-On
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 09:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's where-would-i-put-this deptartment:
At this year's Blizzcon, we got to try out a section of Diablo 3 that was pulled directly from the single-player storyline and playable with all classes. A large number of skills and abilities were playable, and the skill rune system has been implemented, a feature that was lacking for last year's demo build. We also got to spend some time trying out the newly announced PvP system — Battle Arenas. Read on for a walk-through of Diablo 3 as we've seen it so far. In short: it's shaping up to be an excellent game, and a worthy successor to Diablo 2. Read on for more.

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Wireless HDMI At 1080p, Lag-Free WHDI Tested
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-got-no-strings-to-hold-me-down deptartment:
MojoKid writes "Wireless HDMI technologies have finally come of age. Though there are two camps currently in the market (Intel's WiDi and WHDI), the bottom line is lag-free full HD 1080p wireless HDMI video/audio transmission is now a reality. No longer does an HTPC need to be shoehorned into the confines of the entertainment center. Also, that notebook you have perched on the coffee table just got a major display upgrade. This demo of the Asus WiCast and the briteView HDelight wirless HDMI transmitter kits, shows the technology in action and it's impressive actually. Both of these WHDI-based kits utilize the same family of Amimon WHDI transmitter and receiver chipsets. The technology is capable of full 1080p HD video and Dolby Digital surround sound audio transmissions, over distances of up to 30 feet with less than a millisecond of latency."

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From Touchpad To Thought-pad
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 07:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's what-about-dirty-minds deptartment:
An anonymous reader wrote with a story saying "Move over, touchpad screens: New research funded in part by the National Institutes of Health shows that it is possible to manipulate complex visual images on a computer screen using only the mind. The study, published in Nature, found that when research subjects had their brains connected to a computer displaying two merged images, they could force the computer to display one of the images and discard the other. The signals transmitted from each subject's brain to the computer were derived from just a handful of brain cells."

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Oracle Claims Google 'Directly Copied' Our Java Code
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's thats-not-fair deptartment:
itwbennett writes "On Wednesday, Oracle amended the lawsuit it filed against Google in August, saying that 'approximately one third of Android's Application Programmer Interface (API) packages' are 'derivative of Oracle's copyrighted Java API packages' and related documents. In particular, 'the infringed elements of Oracle America's copyrighted work include Java method and class names, definitions, organization, and parameters; the structure, organization and content of Java class libraries; and the content and organization of Java's documentation,' Oracle says. 'In at least several instances, Android computer program code also was directly copied from copyrighted Oracle America code,' Oracle alleges."

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BSG Prequel Series Caprica Canceled
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's so-sick-of-emo deptartment:
Kethinov writes "The sci-fi TV series Caprica, a prequel spinoff from Battlestar Galactica, was just canceled by the Syfy channel. In response to the cancellation and the recent theme of many similar good sci-fi shows getting canceled over the last few years, I've written an editorial arguing that Caprica's cancellation reflects the decreasing sustainability of the cable TV business model. A better, more modern business model could have saved Caprica from cancellation. If this model is adopted in the future, it could save many other similar niche genre shows from the same fate down the road." Another perspective here might be that a boring, ponderous show got yoinked because nobody watched it. Just sayin'

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FarmVille Now Worth More Than EA
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-hate-the-sims-anyway deptartment:
tekgoblin writes "Zynga, the creators of the popular hit FaceBook game FarmVille should be happy today as the company's worth has passed that of EA (Electronic Arts)."

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China Makes World's Fastest Supercomputer
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 05:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's but-can-it-run-wolf3d deptartment:
shmG writes "China has replaced United States as the maker of the world's fastest supercomputer. A Chinese research center has made the world's faster super computer — named as Tianhe-1A, which was released at a national conference on high-performance computers (HPC) in China. Made at a cost of over $88 million, Tianhe-1A is theoretically able to do more than 1 quadrillion calculations per second (one petaflop) at peak speed. Tianhe-1A 's peak performance reaches 1.206 petaflops, and it runs at 563.1 teraflops (1,000 teraflops is equal to one petaflop) on the Linpack benchmark."

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Researchers Find a 'Liberal Gene'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '10 at 04:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's let-the-flame-war-begin deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Liberals may owe their political outlook partly to their genetic make-up, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego, and Harvard University. Ideology is affected not just by social factors, but also by a dopamine receptor gene called DRD4. The study's authors say this is the first research to identify a specific gene that predisposes people to certain political views."

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