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Windows 7 Can Create Rogue Wi-Fi Access Point
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's feature-not-bug deptartment:
alphadogg writes "Windows 7 contains a 'SoftAP' feature, also called 'virtual Wi-Fi,' that allows a PC to function simultaneously as a Wi-Fi client and as an access point to which other Wi-Fi-capable devices can connect. The capability is handy when users want to share music and play interactive games. But it also can allow on-site visitors and parking-lot hackers to piggyback onto the user's laptop and 'ghost ride' into a corporate network unnoticed."While this means a bit more policing for networks meant to be locked down, it sounds like a good thing overall. Linux users, meanwhile, have had kernel support (since 2.6.26) for 802.11s mesh networking, as well as Host AP support for certain chipsets.

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Details Emerge On EU-Only "Browser Choice" Screen for Windows
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 03:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-would-sun-tzu-do deptartment:
Simmeh writes "Microsoft have posted screenshots and details on their upcoming 'web browser choice screen.' Requirements include being in Europe, and having Internet Explorer set as your default browser. It comes with a few surprises, as the software automatically unpins Internet Explorer from your taskbar, and offers 11 alternative browsers."

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Adobe Download Manager Installing Software Without Consent
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's plus-one-invitation deptartment:
"Not all is worth cheering about as Adobe turns 20," writes reader adeelarshad82, who excerpts from a story at PC Magazine's Security Watch: "Researcher Aviv Raff has found a problem in ADM (Adobe Download Manager) and the method through which it is delivered from adobe.com. The net effect of the problem is that a user can be tricked into downloading and installing software using ADM without actual consent. Tonight Adobe acknowledged the report and said they were working on the issue with Raff and NOS Microsystems, the company that wrote ADM."

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What You Get When You Buy a $40 iPhone In a Bar
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheap-thrills deptartment:
Barence writes "How good — or bad — are fake iPhones? PC Pro blogger Steve Cassidy has a friend who paid £25 ($40) for an 'iPhone' in a bar, and he's got the photos and full lowdown of what's inside this not-so smartphone. The phone looks convincing enough from the outside, with a genuine-looking backplate, but things start to go wrong when you switch it on. What's a "Java" and "WLAN" App button doing on the screen? And how about that Internet Explorer icon? It's like you're handling an artefact from an alternate history, dropped in via a spacetime wormhole. It has dual SIM handling, too, and came with a bizarre auxiliary battery festooned with warnings about not pressing a button mounted on the front of the top-up device."

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Considering Cheaper Pico-Projectors As Standard Equipment On Cell Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's beam-it-at-the-wall deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Will pico-projectors become standard equipment on mobile phones, the same way that digital cameras have become? The jury is still out on user acceptance--after all only four mobile phones use pico-projectors today — but if they get small and cheap enough, mobile phone makers are going to install them. There are four vendors today--Microvision, National Semiconductor, 3M and Texas Instruments, but only TI has design wins in cell phones already on the market. And at the recent Mobile World Congress, TI showed a smaller digital light processor (DLP) chip that fits inside even the slimmest mobile phones, and which it claims is cheap enough to become standard equipment. A lot of us never use the camera in our phones now — would you use a pico-projector if it was built into your phone?"

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Researchers Say Women Secretly Desire Hairy Geeks
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 01:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's do-you-want-the-moustache-on-or-off? deptartment:
jasper_amsterdam writes "The Daily Mail has a story about a study looking into women's preference for men. More specifically, about how women say they want one kind of man, but really want another. From the article: 'Most women claim to be attracted to tall, dark and handsome men, but a new study has revealed that facial stubble and a geeky personality are their biggest secret turn-ons. Despite complaining that it looks unkempt and feels rough to touch, the unshaven look on a man is actually a turn-on for 41 per cent of women. A slightly geeky personality came second, proving that women really do like a guy who knows their stuff when it comes to technology. A hairy chest was voted third, followed by a man who loves to read or cries at a soppy film.'"

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The Blind Shall See Again, But When?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's better-repaint-their-room deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Restoring hearing with cochlea implants that replace the inner ear with an electronic version has become standard procedure for many types of deafness. Now it looks like the same thing might happen for many types of blindness. With five national labs funded by the Department of Energy, this third-generation artificial retina promises to enable the blind to see again soon. Already it has been successful in over a dozen test patients, but at resolutions too low for doing much more than proving the concept. However, if the DoE can perfect this larger version of an artificial retina, then the company Second Sight promises to commercialize the implant, aiming for VGA resolution within the decade."

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2010 — the Year AACS and HDMI Kill Off HD Component Video
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 12:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's hope-you-used-conduit deptartment:
For home theater buffs who want (or already have) a high-def system using component-video connections, time may be growing short. Audiofan writes with this story, which begins: "Digital HD (high definition), like that enabled through HDMI and Blu-ray, is awesome. It offers amazing picture and audio quality. It allows you to conveniently connect one single cable to provide both picture and sound. It is royally going to screw up a lot of homes next year. Wait, what was that last part? After December 31, 2010, manufacturers will not be 'allowed' [to] introduce new hardware with component video outputs supplying more than an SD resolution (480i or 576i). Should this go through as planned, it's going to disable or throw a wrench in a lot of existing custom installations as soon as the end of this year." The AACS in the headline stands for Advanced Access Content System, the industry scheme to block "the analog hole" by controlling content from storage media to eyeballs.

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EBay Urges Rethink On EU Plan's "Brick and Mortar" Vendor Requirement
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's them-as-has-gits deptartment:
mernil writes with this snippet from Reuters: "According to a draft regulation drawn up by the European Commission and seen by Reuters, suppliers may be allowed to require that distributors have a 'brick-and-mortar' shop before they can sell online. The proposed rules would replace existing guidelines exempting companies from strict EU competition rules under certain circumstances. Those rules expire at the end of May."

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Life Imagined As One Big RPG
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's congratulations-you're-employed deptartment:
Scoop Snookems writes "Will there be a day where we earn achievement points simply by brushing our teeth or high-fiving a friend? There could be, according to Carnegie Mellon professor Jesse Schell. In this video from the annual DICE summit,Schell comments on recent evolutions in gaming before fixating on a concept where our futures evolve into one big RPG. Fascinating stuff, and I hope writing this post nets me 10 points."

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Officers Lose 243 Homeland Security Guns
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 11:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's they-were-right-here-a-second-ago deptartment:
In a screw up so big it could only be brought to you by the government of a famous athlete, 243 guns were lost by Homeland Security agencies between 2006 and 2008. 179 guns, were lost "because officers did not properly secure them," an inspector general report said. One of the worst examples of carelessness sites a customs officer who left a firearm in an idling vehicle in the parking lot of a convenience store. The vehicle was stolen while the officer was inside. "A local law enforcement officer later recovered the firearm from a suspected gang member and drug smuggler," the report said.

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MIT's Flyfire To Paint Images In the Sky Using Micro-Helicopters
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 10:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's bundles-of-led-joy deptartment:
@engadget mentions that a new project dubbed "Flyfire" at MIT is looking to launch a fleet of LED-equipped micro-helicopters and coordinate them in synchrony to create massive floating images. "By using LED-equipped drones the project pledges to build free-floating 3D displays, endowing them with enough smarts and positional awareness to organize themselves into an airborne canvas. It sounds deliciously exciting and challenging."

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Jacobsen v Katzer Settled — Victory For F/OSS
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 10:00 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's nice-to-come-out-on-top-for-a-change deptartment:
Andy Updegrove writes "A short while ago the parties to one of the most closely watched FOSS cases filed a settlement agreement with the US Federal District Court for the Northern District of California ending one of the most important F/OSS legal cases to date. That case is Jacobsen vs. Katzer, and the settlement marks a complete victory for Jacobsen, a member of the Java Model Railroad Interface (JMRI) Project. Jacobsen's victory establishes several important rights for the first time in the US: the right to prevent their copyright and authorship acknowledgments from being removed from their code, and the right to collect damages if the terms of the licenses they choose are violated. Until now, those rights had never been tested in court."

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New Linux-Based Laptop For Computer Newbies
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 09:15 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's bad-software-knows-no-bounds deptartment:
Smivs writes "The BBC is carrying a report on how people confused and frustrated by computers can now turn to a laptop called Alex built just for them. Based on Linux, the laptop comes with simplified e-mail, web browsing, image editing and office software. Those who sign up for Alex pay £39.95 a month for telephone support, software updates and broadband access. The Newcastle-Based Broadband Computer Company who developed Alex has been working on this project for three years, and didn't immediately adopt a Linux solution — in fact, the first big trial was based on Windows. The company's Chief Technology Officer Barney Morrison-Lyons says that was never going to be the right route:"The biggest problem with Microsoft is badly-written software — the operating system allows you to write software badly unlike Mac or Linux."Mr Hudson, one of the company's founders, said the company also intends to launch an application store for Alex for customers who want to add more features and functions to their computer. "People who love Linux will be keen to develop for this," he said."

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Google Buys iPhone Search App, Kills It
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 08:31 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's throw-money-at-it deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "PC World reports that Google has acquired a popular iPhone application called reMail that provides 'lightning fast' full-text search of your Gmail and IMAP e-mail accounts. The app downloads copies of all your e-mail which can then be searched with various Boolean options. reMail has only been in the application store for about six months — with a free version limited to one Gmail account and a premium version which can connect to multiple accounts. 'Google and reMail have decided to discontinue reMail's iPhone application, and we have removed it from the App Store,' writes company founder Gabor Cselle, who will be returning to Google as a Product Manager on the Gmail team. Google isn't saying what the fate of reMail might be. Some are suggesting reMail could be integrated into Gmail search or live on in some form as a part of Android, Google's mobile platform. Another possibility is that Google may have snapped up reMail just to kill it, not because reMail was a competitor to anything Google had, but because reMail made the iPhone better or the acquisition may have more to do with keeping good search technology away from the competition, as opposed to an attempt to undercut the iPhone. 'Perhaps Google is just planning to buy up all the iPhone developers, one at a time, until Android is the only game in town,' writes Bill Ray at the Register."

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Opera Open Sources Dragonfly
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 07:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's microsoft-soon-to-launch-flyswatter deptartment:
netux writes to mention that Opera has released Dragonfly, their answer to Firebug, as an open source project under the BSD license. The release features a complete architectural overhaul using a modern version of the Scope Protocol (STP-1), a Mercurial repository on BitBucket, and a Wiki to get the ball rolling. "This is Opera’s first full open source project, so there will be a learning curve. We ask you to bear with us while we get everything up and running and policies in place. Coming from a closed source background there are some hurdles to overcome, such as the current bug tracking system being on a closed server. We hope to migrate to an open bug tracking system as the project gets on its feet."

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What Knowledge Gaps Do Self-Taught Programmers Generally Have?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 07:15 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's mind-the-gap deptartment:
BeardedChimp writes "I, like many others here, have learned to program by myself. Starting at a young age and learning through fiddling I have taught myself C++, Java, python, PHP, etc., but what I want to know is what I haven't learned that is important when taught in a traditional computer science curriculum. I have a degree in physics, so I'm not averse to math. What books, websites, or resources would you recommend to fill in the gaps?"

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Toei Animation Thinks Mobiles Could Save Anime
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 06:15 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's save-the-pixels deptartment:
andylim writes to share that according to a recent interview, Toei Animation, producers of Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball z, think that mobile phones and tablets could help save the anime industry, which is being heavily damaged by piracy. Unfortunately the difficulty is getting all of the players to move in the same direction. "We think it's an incredibly exciting opportunity. Manufacturers and networks are going to need more than touchscreens and Twitter to shift phones in the future — content such as Toei's will hopefully add that extra value. Unfortunately, Ebato and Song haven't been inundated with requests for information. 'There's no convergence... the tech people and the content people aren't talking,' adds Song. In fact Song's last statement to us is much more than an anecdotal truth, it's the heart of the matter. It's not enough that Apple and Amazon are talking to content creators, everyone should be doing it. Of course, a good start would be to not hide people like Ebato and Song in distant exhibition halls, where only we can find them."

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Trash-To-Fuel Process Validated By US Military
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 05:45 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's just-need-to-know-who-to-ask deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "After going through all kinds of grief, including being shut down by the Washington State Ecology Department, classifying them as an 'incinerator,' it looks like Green Power Inc is finally ready to shine. The Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marines, in a joint effort, validated their technology in November, and the results are now being published for the first time. For every 100 tons of municipal solid waste feedstock processed each day, the plant produces 1240 gallons of Naphtha, 3700 gallons of Kerosene, 6900 gallons of Diesel and 3000 gallons of Fuel Oil. And even the ash can be used for cement or asphalt. They generate 1 MW of electricity to sell to the grid 24/7, running three shifts per day to keep the plant going, employing approximately five people per shift. Sticker price is $25 million. ROI, 3.5 years. Maybe with this announcement, the trend of no sales in the US will change, compared to the 72 foreign contracts backed by letters of credit."

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Who Will Control the Cost of the NYT On Digital Readers?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '10 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hand-of-fate deptartment:
RobotRunAmok writes "Ryan Tate, at Gawker, describes the 'heated turf war' waging at the New York Times. The print and digital divisions have differing views over how much a subscription to the Gray Lady (iPad edition) should cost. The print troops believe $20-$30 monthly is the proper price point (fearing that setting the mark any lower will jeopardize print distribution), while the digital soldiers are digging in their heels at $10 a month. The Kindle version is already managed by the Print Army, so don't count on logic necessarily driving any decisions here. It's complicated: the Web version of the paper is still free through 2011, and the computer 'Times Reader' has already been released and priced at $14.95 monthly."

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