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Obama Will Nominate Elena Kagan To the Supreme Court
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's let-the-battle-begin deptartment:
Mr Pink Eyes writes "President Obama has made his choice to fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court that was left by the retirement of Justice Stevens. According to this article that choice will be Elena Kagan."

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7Gbps Wi-Fi Networking Kit Could Launch In 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's yeah-sure-right-uh-huh deptartment:
Mark.JUK writes "Wireless Local Area Networking (WLAN 802.11) adapters capable of speeds 'up to' 7Gigabits / per second (Gbps) could be in stores by the end of this year. The Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), which seeks to advance the worldwide adoption and use of 60GHz wireless networking technology, has published a unified specification for its approach and opened an Adopter Program. The move means that WiGig members can now begin developing Wi-Fi kit that uses the unlicensed 60GHz spectrum."

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Obama Calls Today's Ubiquitous Gadgets and Information "a Distraction"
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '10 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-pegs-your-truth-meter-precisely deptartment:
zaphod was one of several readers unhappy with the sentiment expressed in President Obama's graduation address to the students of Virginia's Hampton University, writing: "According to Obama, 'information becomes a distraction' when it comes to iPads, the Xbox, etc. (All items he admits not knowing how to use.) He's basically saying we are getting too much information too quickly, and from 'unreliable sources.' Of course, he's referring to talk radio, blogs and other mediums that tend to disagree with his political views." CNET has a slightly different, less critical reaction, focusing on the differences among the actual devices named; they note that the Xbox is not an iPad.

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Researchers Demo Hardware Attacks Against India's E-Voting Machines
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '10 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's only-the-good-guys-bother-to-explicate deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "India, the world's largest democracy, votes entirely on government made electronic voting machines that authorities claim are 'tamperproof,' 'infallible,' and 'perfect,' but last week security researchers proved that they can be manipulated to steal elections. A team led by Hari Prasad, Professor J. Alex Halderman, and Rop Gonggrijp released an awesome video that shows off hardware hacks they built. These machines are much simpler than e-voting designs used in the US, but as the research paper explains, this makes attacking the hardware even easier. Halderman's students at the University of Michigan took only about a week to build a replacement display board that lies about the vote totals, and the team also built a pocket-sized device that clips onto the memory chips, with the machine powered on, and rewrites the votes. Clippy says, 'It looks like you're trying to rig an election ...'"

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Mpeg 7 To Include Per-Frame Content Identification
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you're-watching-us-and-vice-versa deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "NEC has announced that its video content identification technology has been incorporated in the upcoming Mpeg 7 video standard, allowing for each video frame to have its own signature, meaning that even minute changes to the file such as adding subtitles, watermarks or dogtags, and of course cutting out adverts, will alter the overall signature of the video. According to NEC this will allow the owners of the video to automatically 'detect illegal copies' and 'prevent illegal upload of video content' without their consent. NEC also claims that its technology will do away with the current manual checking by members of the movie industry and ISPs to spot dodgy videos."

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The Status of Routing Reform — How Fragile is the Internet?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's hopefully-comcast-is-not-the-standard-bearer deptartment:
crimeandpunishment points out the Associated Press's look (as carried by SkunkPost) "at an issue the government has been aware of for more than 20 years, but still isn't fixed and continues to cause internet outages: a flaw in the routing system that sends data from carrier to carrier. Most outages are innocent and fixed quickly, but there's growing concern the next one could be devastating. A general manager at Renesys Corporation, which tracks the performance of Internet data routes, says 'It amazes me every day when I get into work and find it's working.'"

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Geostationary GPS Satellite Galaxy 15 Out of Control
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's geo-wobby deptartment:
Bruce Perens writes "The Galaxy 15 commercial satellite has not responded to commands since solar flares fried its CPU in April, and it won't turn off. Intelsat controllers moved all commercial payloads to other birds except for WAAS, a system that adds accuracy to GPS for landing aircraft and finding wayward geocaches. Since the satellite runs in 'bent pipe' mode, amplifying wide bands of RF that are beamed up to it, it is likely to interfere with other satellites as it crosses their orbital slots on its way to an earth-sun Lagrange point, the natural final destination of a geostationary satellite without maneuvering power." (More below.)

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UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's ask-the-queen deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in 35 years the UK government is looking to be at risk of getting a hung or coalition government. (The most recent previous hung parliaments were in 1974 and 1929.) The voting rules are somewhat arcane and the votes this time are such that there are many strange possible outcomes and surprisingly large number of permutations of coalitions that could be formed and political strategies that may go into their forming. There are at least 60 permutations some more politically plausible than others. Adam Back wrote some software to work out the permutations , and lists some of the arcane factors affecting the outcome. If Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown chose to, it would appear even that he could simply refuse to resign, ostensibly trying to form a coalition indefinitely, maybe even forcing the Queen to dismiss the current Government, which last happened in 1834 under King William IV."

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Microsoft's Free, Online Version of Office To Premier This Week
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's file-formats-matter deptartment:
walterbyrd writes "Microsoft will offer an online version of Office 2010 for free. I have to wonder, will this remain free indefinitely? Or is Microsoft just trying to firmly establish its OOXML standard, then go back to business as usual?" Probably a harder sell after Google's acquisition of DocVerse.

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DNSSEC and the Geopolitical Future of the Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-everyone-loves-the-king deptartment:
synsynackack writes "The Register reports that the DNSSEC protocol could have some very interesting geo-political implications, including erosion of the scope of state sovereign powers. The chairman of ICANN, Peter Dengate-Thrush, explained 'We will have to handle the geo-political element of DNSSEC very carefully.' Experts also explained that split DNS and the DNSSEC protocol don't match very well; technically, it is possible for someone at the interface of the global Internet and a country-wide Internet to strip electronic certificates attached to data and repackage the data with a new one."

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Bio-Detector Scans For 3,000 Viruses and Bacteria
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's can't-we-send-it-to-mars-and-settle-this? deptartment:
separsons writes "Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently unveiled a three-inch-long bio-detector than can scan for 3,000 different types of viruses and bacteria in just 24 hours. The device, dubbed the Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array (LLMDA), boasts significant advantages over traditional bio-detectors, which can only identify a maximum of 50 pathogens. The three-inch-long glass slide is packed with 388,000 probes that can detect more than 2,000 viruses and 900 bacteria. The device may have huge implications in identifying agents released during biological and chemical attacks. Plus, in more everyday uses, LLMDA can ensure food, drug and vaccine safety and help diagnose medical problems. Scientists' next version of LLMDA is even more impressive: A new bio-detector will be lined with 2.1 million probes that can scan for 5,700 viruses and thousands of bacteria as well as fungi and protozoa."

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Ancient Comet Fragments Found In Antarctic Snow
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 09:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's cool-and-collected deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Cosmos Magazine: "Two tiny meteorites recently recovered from Antarctic snow contain material dating back to the birth of our Solar System, and may provide clues about the delivery of organic matter to Earth. Researchers believe that these micrometeorites likely came from the cold, comet-forming outer regions of the gas and dust cloud that comprised the early Solar System, and sample its composition. Discovered in 2006, the particles measure less than 0.25 mm across and survived their journey through Earth's atmosphere relatively unscathed. More importantly, scientists found that they contain unusually high amounts of organic matter."

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The Boom (or Bubble) In Federal Cybersecurity
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 08:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's subprime-defense-systems deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that the increasing number and intensity of cyberattacks has attracted the attention of the Obama administration and Congress, which have begun steering dollars to the problem. Much of that new spending, estimated at $6 to $7 billion annually just in unclassified work, is focused on the Washington region, as the federal government consolidates many of its cybersecurity-focused agencies in the area. 'I think it is a real growth opportunity in coming years,' says David Z. Bodenheimer, a partner at law firm Crowell & Moring in Washington, who leads the firm's homeland security practice and specializes in government contracts. 'The market is still rather fragmented and in flux, but is developing with a speed that it is attracting both the major defense and homeland security contractors who are establishing independent business units to pursue these opportunities, and it is also a real opportunity for the smaller players who have niche products.' One reason the field is attracting so many companies is that the barriers to entry are low — at least, relative to other defense industries. But as start-ups and others rush to stake claims, some wonder if a bubble of sorts is beginning to inflate and recall that many venture firms in the early 2000s chased similar prospects. 'A lot of the early people made significant money,' says Roger Novak, founder of Novak Biddle Venture Partners. 'But there were [also] a lot of 'me too' companies.'"

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Can We Legislate Past the H.264 Debate?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's presuming-a-lot-about-our-legislators deptartment:
Midnight Warrior writes "We could solve the H.264 debate if a country's legislature were to mandate that any patents that contribute to an industry-recognized standard were unenforceable in the application of that standard. Ideally, each standard would also be required to have a 'reference design' that could be used without further licensing. This could also solve problems with a ton of other deeply-entrenched areas like hard drives, DRAM, etc. RAND tries to solve this strictly within industry, but both the presence of submarine patents and the low-bar required to obtain a patent have made an obvious mess. Individual companies also use patent portfolios to set up mutual, assured destruction. I'm not convinced that industry can solve this mess that government created. But I'm not stupid; this clearly has a broad, ripple effect. Are there non-computer industries where this would be fatal? What if the patents were unenforceable only if the standard had a trademark and the implementer was compliant at the time of 'infringement?' Then, the patents could still be indirectly licensed, but it would force strict adherence to standards and would require the patent holders to fund the trademark group to defend it to the end. In the US model, of course."

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Critical Flaw Found In Virtually All AV Software
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 06:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's if-only-there-were-something-more-monolithic-to-blame deptartment:
Securityemo writes "The Register is running an article about a new method to bypass antivirus software, discovered by Matousec. By sending benign code to the antivirus driver hooks, and switching it out for malicious code at the last moment, the antivirus can be completely bypassed. This attack is apparently much more reliable on multi-core systems. Here's the original research paper." El Reg notes that "The technique works even when Windows is running under an account with limited privileges," but "it requires a large amount of code to be loaded onto the targeted machine, making it impractical for shellcode-based attacks or attacks that rely on speed and stealth. It can also be carried out only when an attacker already has the ability to run a binary on the targeted PC."

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A Call For an Open, Distributed Alternative To Facebook
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 05:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's privacy-revolution deptartment:
qwerty8ytrewq writes "Ryan Singel, writing for Wired, claims that Facebook has gone rogue: 'Facebook used to be a place to share photos and thoughts with friends and family and maybe play a few stupid games that let you pretend you were a mafia don or a homesteader. It became a very useful way to connect with your friends, long-lost friends and family members. ... And Facebook realized it owned the network. Then Facebook decided to turn "your" profile page into your identity online — figuring, rightly, that there’s money and power in being the place where people define themselves. But to do that, the folks at Facebook had to make sure that the information you give it was public.' Singel goes on to call for an open, distributed alternative. 'Facebook’s basic functions can be turned into protocols, and a whole set of interoperating software and services can flourish. Think of being able to buy your own domain name and use simple software such as Posterous to build a profile page in the style of your liking.' Can Slashdotters predict where social networking is going? And how?" Relatedly, jamie points a graphical representation of how Facebook's privacy settings have changed over the last five years.

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Do Children's E-Books Ruin Reading?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 04:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's different-nodes-in-the-brain deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "A fierce argument has begun over whether children are actually 'reading' new e-books or simply 'watching' them. As publishers pump increasing levels of interactivity into e-books, the New York Times and others argue that these highly-interactive, popular titles are ruining the purpose of reading. The NYT also worries that new e-book titles could distract kids from the tougher task of actually concentrating on literature: '[W]hat will become of the readers we've been: quiet, thoughtful, patient, abstracted, in a world where interactive can be too tempting to ignore?' Others, like Gizmodo, defend these new e-books, pointing at titles like Alice for the iPad, of which they blabber, 'For the first time in my life, I'm blown away by an interactive book design.' But, the NYT counters, 'what I really love [about traditional books] is their inertness. No matter how I shake Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, mushrooms don't tumble out of the upper margin, unlike the Alice for the iPad.'"

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Liquid Blade Brings Immersion Cooling To Blade Servers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '10 at 01:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-said-blade-twice deptartment:
1sockchuck writes "In the past year we've seen several new cooling systems that submerge rack-mount servers. Now liquid immersion cooling is coming to blade servers. Liquid-cooled PC specialist Hardcore Computer has entered the data center market with Liquid Blade, which features two Intel 5600 Xeon processors with an S5500HV server board in a chassis filled with dielectric fluid. Hardcore, which is marketing the product for render farms, says it eliminates the need for rack-level fans and room-level air conditioning. In recent months Iceotope and Green Revolution Cooling have each introduced liquid cooling for rack-mount servers."

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Apple's Haves and Have Nots, Around the World
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '10 at 10:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's just-bitter-about-ipad-prices deptartment:
Rambo Tribble writes "As this story in in the Economist notes, Apple's policies regarding international sales are often confusing and out-dated. Apparently, Apple either hasn't been aware of political and social changes in the world over the last 20 years, or doesn't wish to acknowledge them." Soulskill rightly notes that at least some of the complained-about policies boil down to Apple's adherence to local copyright and licensing laws.

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How To Behave At a Software Company?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '10 at 07:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's answer-may-vary-with-stock-ticker deptartment:
dawilcox writes "I'm a recent grad and am going to begin starting work at a software company. I want to make a good impression on my boss and coworkers. I know that performance is usually tracked, but there are also innate personality traits of good software developers that bosses just want to have around. What are those personality traits? What should I be trying to do in order to make a good impression on the people at my work?" (Appropriate side question: What behavior traits would you like your co-workers to exhibit?)

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