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Silicon Valley's Island of Misfit Tech
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's purpletooth-device deptartment:
harrymcc writes "For more than 20 years, Sunnyvale's cavernous, aptly-named Weird Stuff Warehouse has sold an amazing array of salvage and surplus computer products. It's like a tech museum where everything's for sale at bargain-basement prices — from shrinkwrapped Atari 1040ST software to used BetaMAX tapes to 1GB hard drives to mysterious printed circuit boards to Selectric typewriters. I paid a visit to this legendary geek temple and snapped photos of some of the fascinating stuff I came across."

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Mining EXIF Data From Camera Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 10:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's know-where-you-did-it-last-summer deptartment:
emeitner notes that folks at the ISC wrote scripts that harvested 15,291 images from Twitpic and analyzed the EXIF information. This reader adds, "While mining EXIF data from images is nothing new, how many people would allow this data to leave their cell phone if they knew what it contained? The source code for the scripts is also available from the article." "399 images included the location of the camera at the time the image was taken, and 102 images included the name of the photographer. ... The iPhone is including the most EXIF information among the images we found. ... It not only includes the phone's location, but also accelerometer data showing if the phone was moved at the time the picture was taken and the readout from the [built-]in compass showing in which direction the phone was pointed at the time."

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Rootkit May Be Behind Windows Blue Screen
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 09:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's pre-owned deptartment:
L3sPau1 writes "A rootkit infection may be the cause of a Windows Blue Screen of Death issue experienced by Windows XP users who applied the latest round of Microsoft patches. It appears that the affected Windows PCs had the rootkit infection prior to deploying the Microsoft patches. Researcher Patrick W. Barnes, investigating the issue, has isolated the infection to the Windows atapi.sys file, a driver used by Windows to connect hard drives and other components. Barnes identified the infection as the Tdss-rootkit, which surfaced last November and has been spreading quickly, creating zombie machines for botnet activity."

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Anonymous Speaks About Australian Gov't. Attacks
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 09:01 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's not-a-spokesman-mind deptartment:
daria42 writes "The loose-knit collective of individuals known as 'Anonymous' has broken its silence about the distributed denial of service attacks on the Australian government. An individual (who insisted he or she is not a spokesperson for the group) said the attacks were more effective at stopping the government's Internet filtering project than signing a petition, and that the attacks could go on for months." The site where some members of Anonymous are said to hang out, 4chan, got a visibility boost yesterday when its founder moot spoke at the TED conference.

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Google Considered Too Big To Fail
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 08:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's advertising-bubble deptartment:
theodp writes "Doc Searls is worried about the way Google makes money. 'Nearly all of it comes from advertising,' he frets. 'That's what pays for all the infrastructure Google is giving to the rest of us. As our dependency on Google verges on the absolute, this should be a concern.' Have we reched Peak Advertising? Blogger Dave Winer says amen, asking if Google is already 'too big to fail.'"

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Wikileaks and Iceland MPs Propose Journalism Haven
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 07:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's vikings-of-transparency deptartment:
geegel sends word that Iceland could become a journalism haven if a proposal put forward by some Icelandic MPs, aided by Wikileaks, succeeds. Julian Assange, editor of Wikileaks, said that the idea is to "try and reform Iceland's media law to be a very attractive jurisdiction for investigative journalists." The article notes one area in which supporters of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative need to tread carefully: "...the troubles of the financial sector may lead some Icelanders to be sceptical of efforts to transform their country and [one supporter] is aware of the need not to make exaggerated claims." A British opponent of the idea (and supporter of the UK's draconian libel laws) is quoted: "The provisions allowing defendants to counter-sue 'libel tourists' in their home courts could transform the humble Icelander into a legal superman, virtually untouchable abroad for comment written — and uploaded — at home."

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Directed Energy Weapon Downs Ballistic Missile
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 07:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's sharks-as-witnesses deptartment:
A**masher writes "In a test off the Califoria coast late last night, Boeing's Airborne Laser successfully destroyed a sub-launched ballistic missile. 'This was the first directed energy lethal intercept demonstration against a liquid-fuel boosting ballistic missile target from an airborne platform,' reported the Missile Defense Agency. It should be noted that destroying a liquid-fueled ballistic missile is generally considered easier than killing a solid-fueled equivalent due to the relative fragility of the fueling and other systems."

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Warner To End Free Streaming of Its Content
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 06:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's moment-of-silence-in-the-stream deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "If you have a license to stream content for free from Warner, be aware: Warner has announced plans to cancel streaming licenses. Major sites such as Last.fm, Spotify, and Pandora may be affected — Warner has not yet spelled out whether streaming restrictions will apply to existing licenses, or only to future ones. Warner's CEO Edgar Bronfman said, 'Free streaming services are clearly not net positive for the industry and as far as Warner Music is concerned will not be licensed.' You might contend that Warner gets a cut of the ad-based revenue these free streaming sites take in. While true, Bronfman contended that this revenue comes nowhere near what they need in compensation for each individual's enjoyment of each work. The article quotes spokesmen for other labels who disagree with Warner's stance, however. Music's digital birthing pains continue."

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How Easy Is It To Cheat In CS?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 05:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-no-you-want-game-theory-down-the-hall deptartment:
Pinky3 writes "The New York Times has an article on cheating in CS at Stanford. Here is a classic quote from one student: 'I wasn't even thinking of how it [sic] easy it would for me to be caught,' he said. One interesting strategy discussed is for the professor to make the final count for more of the final grade each time cheating is discovered. Share your experiences as a student and/or as an instructor."

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Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 03:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you're-fibred! deptartment:
Barence writes with this excerpt from PC Pro: "Google has emerged as a surprise contender to invest in Britain's fibre broadband network. The search giant yesterday announced plans to build a gigabit fibre broadband network in the US. The test network will see Google deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections to up to half a million US homes. The move raises the possibility that Google is behind the Conservative Party's ambitious plans to deliver nationwide 100Mbits/sec connections by 2017. Parliamentary sources have told PC Pro that the Tories' plans were based on foreign investment in the UK broadband network."

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France Votes Tuesday On Net Censorship
Posted by News Fetcher on February 12 '10 at 12:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's to-go-with-ebay-censorship deptartment:
angry tapir writes "French lawmakers will vote next Tuesday on a proposal to filter Internet traffic. Part of a new security bill, the measure is intended to catch child pornographers. However, once the filtering system is in place it will allow the government to censor other material too. Slashdot has previously discussed Australia's proposed ISP-level filter."

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Facebook Now Supports Jabber/XMPP
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 09:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's cross-pollination-nation deptartment:
supersloshy writes "Facebook Chat has so far only been meant to be used in a web browser, and instant messaging applications have had a hard time implementing it's undocumented protocol. Today, Facebook is making this job much easier by enabling support for XMPP to access its chat service. AOL's AIM and the Empathy Instant Messenger are also including pre-set Facebook options, due to already supporting XMPP."Here are instructions for setting up XMPP Facebook chat with popular instant messaging clients, including Pidgin and Adium.

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Google Buys AI Social Search Service Aardvark
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's spelled-like-the-animal deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "MIT's Tech Review is covering an acquisition it finds very interesting. Google (which recently announced Buzz) has acquired Aardvark. The review covered Aardvark and the artificial intelligence it uses in its searches in 2009."

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EU Overturns Agreement With US On Banking Data
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 06:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's seems-like-a-reasonable-decision deptartment:
Following the lead of the civil liberties committee which last week recommended dropping it (against the wishes of the US), qmaqdk writes "The EU parliament overturned the previous agreement with the US which allowed US intelligence agencies to access EU banking data."

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FAA Data Shows Exploding Batteries Are Rare, Small Risk
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-you-don't-want-to-be-there deptartment:
ericatcw writes "While the US government is intent on adding new rules around the shipment and carrying of Lithium-Ion batteries on passenger and cargo planes, data from its own Federal Aviation Agency show that the risk of being on an airplane where someone — not necessarily you — suffers a minor injury due to a battery is only one in 28 million, reports Computerworld, which analyzed the data (skip to the chart here) using the free Tableau Public data visualization service. Getting killed in a car accident, by contrast, is 4,300 times more likely. Opponents say the rules could raise the cost of shopping online and add hassles for fliers."

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Windows Patch Leaves Many XP Users With Blue Screens
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's could-be-worse-could-be-raining deptartment:
CWmike writes "Tuesday's security updates from Microsoft have crippled Windows XP PCs with the notorious Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), users have reported on the company's support forum. Complaints began early yesterday, and gained momentum throughout the day. 'I updated 11 Windows XP updates today and restarted my PC like it asked me to,' said a user identified as 'tansenroy' who kicked off a growing support thread: 'From then on, Windows cannot restart again! It is stopping at the blue screen with the following message: 'A problem has been detected and Windows has been shutdown to prevent damage to your computer.' Others joined in with similar reports. Several users posted solutions, but the one laid out by 'maxyimus' was marked by a Microsoft support engineer as the way out of the perpetual blue screens."

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European Credit and Debit Card Security Broken
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's pounding-marks-for-euros deptartment:
Jack Spine writes "With nearly a billion users dependent on smart banking credit and debit cards, banks have refused liability for losses where an idenification number has been provided. But now, the process behind the majority of European credit and debit card transactions is fundamentally broken, according to researchers from Cambridge University. The researchers have demonstrated a man-in-the-middle attack which fooled a card reader into accepting a number of point-of-sale transactions, even though the cards were not properly authenticated. The researchers used off-the-shelf components (PDF), and a laptop running a Python script, to undermine the two factor authentication process on European credit and debit cards, which is called Chip and PIN."

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Brain Surgery Linked To Sensation of Spirituality
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 01:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's applied-psychology deptartment:
the3stars writes "'Removing part of the brain can induce inner peace, according to researchers from Italy. Their study provides the strongest evidence to date that spiritual thinking arises in, or is limited by, specific brain areas. This raises a number of interesting issues about spirituality, among them whether or not people can be born with a strong propensity towards spirituality and also whether it can be acquired through head trauma."One critic's quoted response: "It's important to recognize that the whole study is based on changes in one self-report measure, which is a coarse measure that includes some strange items."

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Why Apple Doesn't Market Squarely To Businesses
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's zen-guerillas deptartment:
snydeq writes "Despite feature enhancements that suggest otherwise, Apple remains lukewarm to any Mac and iPhone success in business environments. 'Apple has intentionally created a glass ceiling it has no intention of shattering. My conversations with Apple employees over the past decade have always been off the record when it comes to the topic of Macs in the enterprise. The company has had no intention of signaling any active plans to serve the enterprise,' InfoWorld's Galen Gruman writes. 'In a sense, Apple views enterprise sales as "collateral success" — a nice-to-have byproduct of its real focus: individuals, developers, and very small businesses ... likely because to do otherwise would greatly increase the complexity Apple would have to deal with.'"

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Document Management For Research With Annotation?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 11 '10 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-sort-by-document-size deptartment:
msimm writes "I'm currently looking for a document management system for personal and research-related use. Having looked at Alfresco and KnowledgeTree along with a slew of similar open source document management systems they seem to have a common set of features including version control, archiving, document permission/ownership and search/indexing. What I'd like, in order to help me manage my own continually growing collection of pdf/doc/odf/rtf/txt files, would be something that allowed me to view and annotate documents (and possibly collaborate/share notes) without requiring me to download, edit and re-upload each document. Obviously there are plenty of capable document management systems out there, so I really suspect I've simply missed something and am hoping someone can point me to a better way to index, search, collaborate and keep and share notes on the ever increasing glut of useful information I seem to use and collect."

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