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Canadian Blood Services Promotes Pseudoscience
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 04:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's type-A-negative-personality deptartment:
trianglecat writes "The not-for-profit agency, Canadian Blood Services, has a section of their website based on the Japanese cultural belief of ketsueki-gata which claims that a person's blood group determines or predicts their personality type. Disappointing for a self-proclaimed "science-based" organization. The Ottawa Skeptics, based in the Nation's capital, appear to be taking some action."

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Windows 7 Share Grows At XP's Expense
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 03:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's you-used-the-s-word deptartment:
CWmike writes "Microsoft's Windows ran to stay in place last month as Window 7's market share gains made up for the largest-ever declines in Windows XP and Vista, data released today by Web metrics firm Net Applications showed. By these numbers, Windows 7's gains were primarily at the expense of Windows XP. For each copy of Vista replaced by Windows 7 during November, more than six copies of XP were swapped out. Meanwhile, Apple's Mac OS X lost share during November... betcha Ballmer is having an extra giddy time with that news. Linux came up a winner last month, returning to the 1% share mark for the first time since July. Linux's all-time high in Net Applications' rankings was May 2009, when it nearly reached 1.2%."

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What Google's Chromium OS Is Reaching For
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 02:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's chrome-detailing deptartment:
MojoKid sends in a piece that takes a step back from Google's much-analyzed OS to look at what it is trying to accomplish. "Last week, Google open-sourced its Chromium OS project, more than a year before the operating system is scheduled for release. In doing so, Google hopes a variety of developers and companies will become involved in the project, and has pledged to release regular updates as well as a comprehensive log of bug reports and fixes. This article takes a look at Google's design vision for Chromium, the unique benefits it offers, and a bit of why Google is throwing its hat into this particular ring in the first place. Chromium, after all, is a Linux-based OS entering the smartbook/netbook market at a time when the product segment is already being well served by a variety of Linux distros, XP, and Windows 7. In the midst of all these options, do we need another operating system? We just might."

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Scientology Charged With Slavery, Human Trafficking
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 02:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's to-name-but-a-few deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "A formal complaint was filed in California (caged PDF) last week by John Lindstein naming David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology International as defendants. Lindstein claims that for sixteen years (from age 8) he was forced to work as a slave at Gold Base, a secret CoS site run by Golden Era Productions with 'razor wire, security guard patrols, surveillance posts, and three roll calls each day.' The pay was $50 a week. The allegations include 'Violations of wage and hour laws as well as unfair/illegal business practices actionable under California B&P 17200 Et. Seq.' and a complaint under the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution, which abolished slavery. Members of the group Anonymous praised the summons."

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SarBox Lawsuit Could Rewrite IT Compliance Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 01:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's sluice-gate-to-security-spending deptartment:
dasButcher notes that the Supreme Court will hear arguments next week brought by a Nevada accounting firm that asserts the oversight board for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act is unconstitutional. If the plaintiffs are successful, it could force Congress to rewrite or abandon the law used by many companies to validate tech investments for security and compliance. "Many auditing firms have used [Sarbanes-Oxley Section] 404 as a lever for imposing stringent security technology requirements on publicly traded companies regulated by SOX and their business partners. SOX security compliance has proven effective for vendors and solution providers, as it forces regulated enterprises to spend billions of dollars on technology that, many times, doesn’t prevent security incidents but does make them compliant with the law."

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Verizon Changes FiOS AUP, -1, Offtopic
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-ready-for-municipal-broadband deptartment:
RasputinAXP writes "Verizon has changed their FiOS AUP effective yesterday, and added an interesting new clause to their specific examples that we're all familiar with: 'it is a violation of the Agreement and this AUP to ... post off-topic information on message boards, chat rooms or social networking sites.' At this point, every FiOS-based Slashdot user is breaking the new AUP."

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Sprint Revealed Customer GPS Data 8 Million Times
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 12:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's tap-o-matic deptartment:
An anonymous reader sends along Chris Soghoian's blog entry revealing that Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' GPS location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. The data point comes from a closed industry conferenct that Soghoian attended, at which Paul Taylor, Electronic Surveillance Manager at Sprint Nextel, said: "[M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that's just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don't know how we'll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in." Soghoian's post details the laws around disclosure of wiretap and other interception data — one of which the Department of Justice has been violating since 2004 — and calls for more disclosure of the levels of all forms of surveillance.

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Recycling Excess Heat From the Data Center
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 11:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's talkin'-'bout-my-generation deptartment:
itwbennett writes "A new data center being built in Helsinki, scheduled to go live at the end of January, will generate energy and deliver hot water for the city. The data center is located in an old bomb shelter and is connected to the Helsinki public energy company's district heating system, which works by pumping boiling water through a system of pipes to households in Helsinki. The recycled heat from the data center, could add about 1 percent to the total energy generated by the energy company's system in the summer." The article doesn't say what the overall efficiency of the heat recovery is. Researchers at MIT are working on a new energy-conversion technology based on quantum dots that they say has already demonstrated 40% of the Carnot efficiency limit — 4 times what is achieved by current commercial thermoelectric devices. The researchers believe they can reach 90% of the Carnot limit.

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Verizon Changes FiOS AUP, -1, Offtopic
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's get-ready-for-municipal-broadband deptartment:
RasputinAXP writes "Verizon has changed their FiOS AUP effective yesterday, and added an interesting new clause to their specific examples that we're all familiar with: "it is a violation of the Agreement and this AUP to ... post off-topic information on message boards, chat rooms or social networking sites.' At this point, every FiOS-based Slashdot user is breaking the new AUP."

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Microsoft Investigates Windows 7 "Black Screen of Death"
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's appropriate-namespace-overload deptartment:
duguk writes "Microsoft has confirmed that it is investigating a problem described as the 'black screen of death,' which affects Windows 7 — and reports suggest it affects Vista and XP, too. The firm said it was looking into reports that suggest its latest security update, released on Tuesday 25 November, caused the problem. The error means that users of Windows 7 and earlier operating systems see a totally black screen after logging on to the system."

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Spammer Lance Atkinson Fined $16 Million
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 09:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's jail-would-be-finer deptartment:
Nashville Guy writes "According to Australia's The Age, 'A New Zealand man living in Queensland and believed to be behind the world's largest spam operation, has been ordered to pay more than $16 million for running the illegal enterprise. Lance Atkinson, 26, originally from Christchurch, was living in Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast when the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had his assets frozen last year. ... The FTC found Atkinson and American Jody Smith were at the centre of the world's largest internet spam operation, dubbed 'AffKing,' having recruited spammers from around the world.'"

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Trying To Bust JavaScript Out of the Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 08:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's first-disable-the-guard deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "If you think JavaScript is a crime against humanity, you might want to skip this article, because Ars is reporting on efforts to take JavaScript to the next level. With the new ECMAScript 5 draft proposal, the article points out a lot of positive things that have happened in the world of JavaScript. The article does a good job of citing some of the major problems with JavaScript and how a reborn library called CommonJS (formerly ServerJS) is addressing each of those problems. No one can deny JavaScript's usefulness on the front end of the web, but if you're a developer do you support the efforts to move it beyond that?"

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MacBook Mod Gives Base Station Chassis New Purpose
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 07:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hyper-extension deptartment:
odysseus31173 writes "A little over a year ago, I began developing for the iPhone and needed a working mac (not a Hackintosh), so I decided to purchase a MacBook logic board to save on cost. I modded a Linksys case to accept the logic board (along with all of the other hardware) and made it function again. The Mac currently runs Leopard and has a working iSight and mic along with fully functional WiFi and bluetooth. The RAM is the standard 1 gig, but the hard drive has been upgraded to 160 gigs. The iSight/mic holes in the front panel are hard to see and this could be used as a nanny cam of sorts."

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The Cloud Ate My Homework
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's low-hanging-clouds-are-fog deptartment:
theodp writes "Over at CNET, James Urquhart sings the praises of cloud computing, encouraging folks to 'really listen to what is being said, understand how the cloud is being used, and seriously evaluate how this disruptive model will change your projects, your organization, and even your career.' Fair enough. Over at the Google Docs Help Forum, some perplexed cloud computing users spent the month of November unsuccessfully trying to figure out why they've been zinged for inappropriate content. Among the items deemed inappropriate and unshareable include notes on Henry David Thoreau ("the published version of this item cannot be shared until a Google review finds that the content is appropriate"), homework assignments, high school yearbook plans, wishlists, documents containing botanical names for plants, a list of websites for an ecommerce class, and a list of companies that rent motorcycles in Canada. When it comes to support in the cloud, it kind of looks like you might get what you pay for."

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Cool-Tether Links Phones' Bandwidth To Make High-Speed Hotspots
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's broadish-band deptartment:
Barence writes "Microsoft Research has found a novel way of beating the deplorably slow speeds of mobile broadband, by combining several phones together to make one high-speed hotspot. Dubbed Cool-Tether, the system harnesses the mobile data connection of multiple mobile handsets to build an on-the-fly Wi-Fi hotspot. 'To address the challenges of energy efficiency, Cool-Tether carefully optimises the energy drain of the WAN (GPRS/EDGE/3G) and Wi-Fi radios on smartphones,' Microsoft's research paper claims. 'We prototype Cool-Tether on smartphones and, experimentally, demonstrate savings in energy consumption between 38%-71% compared to prior energy-agnostic solutions.'"

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US Congressman Announces Plans To Probe Wikileaks
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 05:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's good-luck-with-that deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "Congressman Peter King (R-NY) is calling for a probe into Wikileaks with regard to the recent publication of half a million 9/11 pager messages. He has announced that he plans to have his Washington staff begin a preliminary investigation because Wikileaks' action 'raises security issues.' A word of caution: Congressman King has been known to make inflammatory and unpopular statements."

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Infinity Ward Fights Against Modern Warfare 2 Cheaters
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 04:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's be-careful-they-cheat deptartment:
Faithbleed writes "IW's Robert Bowling reports on his twitter account that Infinity Ward is giving 2,500 Modern Warfare 2 cheaters the boot. The news comes as the war between IW and MW2's fans rages over the decision to go with IWnet hosting instead of dedicated servers. Unhappy players were quick to come up with hacks that would allow their own servers and various other changes." Despite the dedicated-server complaints, Modern Warfare 2 has sold ridiculously well.

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Recipient of First Software Patent Defends Them
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 03:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's semper-fi deptartment:
Arguendo writes "Martin Goetz, who obtained the first software patent in 1968, has penned a thoughtful defense of software patents for Patently-O. Goetz argues that there is no principled difference between software and hardware patents and that truly patentable software innovations require just as much ingenuity and advancement as any other kind of patentable subject matter. The Supreme Court is of course currently considering whether to change the scope of patentable subject matter in the Bilski case, which we've discussed before." Does it weaken Goetz's argument that his description of the software lifecycle harks back to the waterfall days and bears little resemblance to current development practice in open source and/or Internet contexts?

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Harvard Says Computers Don't Save Hospitals Money
Posted by News Fetcher on December 01 '09 at 12:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's always-jam-tomorrow deptartment:
Lucas123 writes "Researchers at Harvard Medical School pored over survey data from more than 4,000 'wired' hospitals and determined that computerization of those facilities not only didn't save them a dime, but the technology didn't improve administrative efficiency either. The study also showed most of the IT systems were aimed at improving efficiency for hospital management — not doctors, nurses, and medical technicians. 'For 45 years or so, people have been claiming computers are going to save vast amounts of money and that the payoff was just around the corner. So the first thing we need to do is stop claiming things there's no evidence for. It's based on vaporware and [hasn't been] shown to exist or shown to be true,' said Dr. David Himmelstein, the study's lead author."

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Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video
Posted by News Fetcher on November 30 '09 at 11:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's super-mario-takedown deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Nintendo is investigating potential copyright infringement by Nokia during some video demos of their N900 phone, which can be seen emulating Nintendo games. Nintendo spokesman Robert Saunders says: 'We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place.' In the video, Nokia says, 'Most publishers allow individual title usage, provided that the user is in possession of the original title.'"

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