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Interview With the Founder of a Video Game Rehab Clinic
Posted by News Fetcher on January 26 '10 at 01:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's real-medicine deptartment:
Ten Ton Hammer has posted the transcript from an interview with Dr. Hilarie Cash, co-founder of the "reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program," a relatively new clinic that deals with adults who feel that they are addicted to video games. The interview contains some.. interesting nuggets of wisdom. If you want to avoid addiction, you'd better spend less than two hours per day on online entertainment! The good news is that she doesn't recommend beating people. "When people come, they come for 45 days. It is only for adults; patients must be 18 or older. When they first come, they come for a minimum 2 days to be interviewed and to interview us, because we don't want anyone there who doesn't want to be there. So if they decide they want to be there then they stay for 45 days or longer if they choose. During that time they don't have access to the internet. The idea is that it takes at least 30 days for the brain to make some adjustments it needs to make to get over this addiction, so the brain can begin to rewire back to normal. During that time we are helping them look at why they got addicted, what motivated their addiction and we're assessing to see what skills they are lacking so they can be successful in their adult lives. We try to make a good start at helping to build those skills."

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Intego's "Year In Mac Security" Report
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 11:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's almost-popular-enough deptartment:
david.emery notes the release of Intego's "Year In Mac Security" report (PDF), adding: "Mac OS X and iPhones that haven't been jailbroken fare pretty well (although vulnerabilities exist, there's not been a lot of exploitation). Apple does come in for criticism for 'time to fix' known vulnerabilities. Jailbroken iPhones are a mess. The biggest risk to Macs are Trojan horses, often from pirated software."

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New Super Mario Bros. Wii Tops 10 Million Sales
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 11:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it'sa-me-mario deptartment:
According to a report from Japanese publication Nikkei Net, Nintendo's New Super Mario Bros. Wii has now sold 10 million copies worldwide. The game needed only 45 days to pass the already impressive sales numbers of Super Mario Galaxy. Quoting Gamasutra: "NSMB Wii has sold 3 million units in Japan, where it launched on December 3; 3 million copies in Europe, where it launched November 20, and 4.5 million units in North America, where it launched November 15. Super Mario Galaxy has sold 4.1 million units in North America since 2007. The game's design hearkens back to the two-dimensional, side-scrolling style of earlier Mario titles ... The numbers would seem to suggest that these traits successfully generated more mass appeal for NSMB Wii than for the three-dimensional and far less familiar Super Mario Galaxy, which sent the plumber navigating more innovative spherical space environments."

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Getting Company Owners To Follow Their Own Rules?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 08:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's not-what-i-do deptartment:
techmage writes "Recently we had an issue at our small company that resulted in the loss of a lot of important data. To prevent it from happening again, we created a company-wide policy that all computers would return to IT to have their contents backed up, and the computers would be formatted and reloaded for the next user. Consistently the owners of the company break this and other policies we set up to prevent data loss, theft, etc. How do I get through to the bosses that when they break with the policies, they are potentially shooting the company in the foot?"

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Uranus and Neptune May Have "Oceans of Diamonds"
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 07:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's went-to-sea-in-a-sieve deptartment:
Third Position writes "Oceans of liquid diamond topped with solid 'icebergs' of the precious gems could be on Uranus and Neptune. The first-ever detailed research into the melting point of diamond found it behaves like water during melting and freezing — with its solid form floating on the liquid. A large diamond ocean on one or both of the planets could provide an explanation for an oddity they both share: unlike Earth, they do not have magnetic poles that match up with their geographical poles." The article doesn't mention what the pressures might be like in these outer-planets environments, but the researchers found that liquifying diamond requires 40 million times Earth's atmospheric pressure at sea level.

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Thomas Edison's Kindle
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 04:45 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's mister-bezos-come-here-i-want-you deptartment:
harrymcc writes "In 1911, Thomas Edison bragged that he could make a 40,000-page book by printing the pages on thin pieces of metal. In the mid-1930s, newspapers experimented with transmitting special editions into homes via early fax machines. In 1956, Chrysler tried to sell Americans on buying 7-inch records that could only be played on a tiny turntable built into its cars' dashboards. Over at Technologizer, I rounded up these and a dozen other fascinating, forgotten gadget ideas that didn't work out — but which foreshadowed products and technologies that eventually became a big deal."

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Insecure Plugins Ding IE, Safari, Chrome, Opera
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 04:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's black-powder-in-the-sandbox deptartment:
krebsonsecurity writes "The Web browser wars often focus on which browser is more secure, but the dirty secret is that insecure plugins are a serious threat to all browsers, from the perspectives of both stability and security. Krebsonsecurity.com features an informative look at the administration page for a popular browser exploit kit called Eleonora, which suggests that plugins like Adobe Reader and Java are leading to successful compromises for users surfing not just with Internet Explorer, but also with Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera."

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The Cell Phone Has Changed — New Etiquette Needed
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 03:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's where-is-my-direct-neural-interface deptartment:
CWmike writes to share a recent manners-rant that has some great gems about how not to be "that guy" on a cell phone. What rules of engagement are absolutely necessary and what social penalties should become standard practice for repeat offenders? "It's easy to be rude with a cell phone. A visitor from another planet might conclude that rudeness is a cell phone's main purpose. Random, annoying ring tones go off unexpectedly. People talk too loudly on cell phones in public because of the challenge of holding a conversation in a noisy environment with someone who's not present. Cell phones need their own rules of etiquette, or we'll descend into social barbarism."

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NASA To Propose Commercial Space Initiative
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 02:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's healthy-competition deptartment:
MarkWhittington writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that starting with the FY2011 budget request for NASA, the Obama administration intends to propose a new program to encourage the development of a commercial space flight industry. 'The controversial proposal, expected to be included in the Obama administration's next budget, would open a new chapter in the U.S. space program. The goal is to set up a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar initiative allowing private firms, including some start-ups, to compete to build and operate spacecraft capable of ferrying U.S. astronauts into orbit—and eventually deeper into the solar system. Congress is likely to challenge the concept's safety and may balk at shifting dollars from existing National Aeronautics and Space Administration programs already hurting for funding to the new initiative. The White House's ultimate commitment to the initiative is murky, according to these people, because the budget isn't expected to outline a clear, long-term funding plan.'"

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SETI Founder Outlines Ambitious Future Plans
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 01:45 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's just-send-money deptartment:
Lanxon writes "'In the universe there is intelligent life, I'm confident about that,' SETI founder Dr Frank Drake (of the Drake Equation) affirmed earlier today during a talk at the Royal Society in London, 50 years after SETI was founded. One of his visions to prove this, and to show that the last five decades were not a waste of time, is to station a radio observatory not in near-Earth orbit, but on the far side of the moon. He also suggests that another craft could later be stationed 500 times further away from the Sun than the Earth, using the Sun itself as a giant magnifying lens to resolve alien worlds."

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Researchers Claim "Effectively Perfect" Spam Blocking Discovery
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 01:15 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's sounds-evolutionary-not-revolutionary deptartment:
A team of computer scientists from the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, CA are claiming to have found an "effectively perfect" method for blocking spam. The new system deciphers the templates a botnet is using to create spam and then teaches filters what to look for. "The system ... works by exploiting a trick that spammers use to defeat email filters. As spam is churned out, subtle changes are typically incorporated into the messages to confound spam filters. Each message is generated from a template that specifies the message content and how it should be varied. The team reasoned that analyzing such messages could reveal the template that created them. And since the spam template describes the entire range of the emails a bot will send, possessing it might provide a watertight method of blocking spam from that bot."

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Bach Launches Updated MP3 Format
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 12:30 PM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's more-than-just-hinderance-a-novel-idea deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Bach Technology has rolled out an updated MP3 file format in a bid to combat music piracy. Dubbed "MusicDNA," the new format offers embedded "updatable premium content" like lyrics, videos, news updates, and album artwork. "Using the new technology, music labels and bands will be able to send updates to the music files – with tour dates, interviews or updates to social networking pages – while illegally-downloaded files remain static. ... No major labels have signed up to use MusicDNA so far, but British record company Beggars Group and US label Tommy Boy are both on board. However, the files are likely to be more expensive than MP3 files – according to the BBC – and will have to compete with Apple's iTunes LP, which already provides additional content such as bonus tracks, lyrics and video interviews."

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SourceForge Clarifies Denial of Site Access
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 11:30 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's living-in-the-real-world deptartment:
Recently there were some complaints from certain users outside the U.S. stating that they were no longer able to access SourceForge.net. SF.net (who shares a corporate overlord with Slashdot) has outlined the reasons for these bans and until someone with sufficient power to alter U.S. law or the lists governing who is allowed to access what data from where, there is unlikely to be a change in these bans. It is worth noting that SF.net is not alone in these difficulties as the same problems have been reported from other repositories like Google Code. "As one of the first companies to promote the adoption and distribution of free and open source software, and one that still puts open source at the center of its corporate ideals, restrictions on the free flow of information rub us the wrong way. However, in addition to participating in the open source community, we also live in the real world, and are governed by the laws of the country in which we are located. Our need to follow those laws supersedes any wishes we might have to make our community as inclusive as possible. The possible penalties for violating these restrictions include fines and imprisonment. Other hosting companies based in the US have similar legal and technical restrictions in place."

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Data Breach Costs Top $200 Per Customer Record
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 10:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's that-adds-up deptartment:
alphadogg writes "The cost of a data breach increased last year to $204 per compromised customer record, according to the Ponemon Institute's annual study. The average total cost of a data breach rose from $6.65 million in 2008 to $6.75 million in 2009. The Ponemon Institute based its estimates on data from 45 companies that publicly acknowledged a breach of sensitive customer data last year and were willing to discuss it. In tallying the cost of a data breach, the Ponemon Institute looks at several factors, including: the cost of lost business because of an incident; legal fees; disclosure expenses related to customer contact and public response; consulting help; and remediation expenses such as technology and training."

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Mozilla Tries New "Lorentz" Dev Model
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 10:00 AM
By ScuttleMonkey from Slashdot's does-it-provide-synergistic-roi deptartment:
With the recent release of Firefox 3.6, Mozilla has also decided to try out a new development model dubbed "Lorentz." A blend of both Agile and more traditional "waterfall" development models, the new methodology aims to deliver new features much more quickly while still maintaining backwards compatibility, security, and overall quality. Only time will tell if this is effective, or just another management fad. "If the new approach sounds familiar, that's because Unix and Linux development has attempted similar kinds of release variations for iterating new features while maintaining backwards compatibility. HP-UX, for example, is currently on its HP-UX 11iv3 release, which receives updates several times a year that add incremental new functionality. The Linux 2.6.x kernel gets new releases approximately every three months, which include new features as well."

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Chinese Human Rights Orgs Hit By DDoS
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 09:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's stuff-that-matters deptartment:
Oxford_Comma_Lover writes "IDG News Service is reporting that several human rights organizations focusing on China have been hit by DDoS attacks this weekend, including Chinese Human Rights Defenders and Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch. The latter works on issues of mental persecution (dissidents being thrown into mental hospitals where they were forced onto medication or beaten with electric batons) and eminent-domain type problems (seizure of farmland or urban land without compensation when the government is working on a project)."

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Universal, Pay Those EFFing Lawyers
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's they-can-afford-it deptartment:
Slashdot frequent contributor Bennett Haselton writes "The EFF is seeking over $400,000 in attorney's fees from Universal Music Group after Universal sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, demanding the removal of a video posted by user Stephanie Lenz. Lenz had posted a video of her toddler dancing to a 30-second clip of the Prince song "Let's Go Crazy"; after Universal sent the takedown notice, the EFF sent YouTube a counter-notice on behalf of Lenz arguing that the video was fair use, and YouTube restored it. Now the EFF is asking the judge to award them attorney's fees for their work." Use your magical clicking device below to read many more words.

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Australian ISPs To Disconnect Botnet "zombies"
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 08:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's want-braaaains deptartment:
jibjibjib writes "Some of Australia's largest ISPs are preparing an industry code of conduct to identify and respond to users with botnet-infected computers. The Internet Industry Association, made up of over 200 ISPs and technology companies, is preparing the code in response to an ultimatum from the federal government. ISPs will try to contact the user, slow down their connection, and ultimately terminate the connection if the user refuses to fix the problem. It is hoped that this will reduce the growth of botnets in Australia, which had the world's third-highest rate of new 'zombies' (behind the US and China)"

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The DIY $10 Prepaid Cellphone Remote Car Starter
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's now-thats-a-hack deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Wish you could start your car via your cell phone, but don't feel like ponying up the $40k for a Chevrolet Volt or $499 (plus $29 a year) for an aftermarket system from Viper? This hack relies on a cheap prepaid cellphone that has had its vibration motor surgically removed, replaced by a couple of leads triggering the car's starter. Whenever the phone receives a call it starts up the car — a somewhat dodgy proposition if a telemarketer ever gets hold of your number, but an interesting solution nonetheless. Total cost of the project: $71.03."

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The Apple Paradox, Closed Culture & Free-Thinking Fans
Posted by News Fetcher on January 25 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's don't-question-jesus deptartment:
waderoush writes "The secrecy surrounding the expected Apple tablet computer is only the latest example of the company's famously closed and controlling culture. Yet millions of designers, musicians, and other creative professionals love their Apple products, and the Apple brand is almost synonymous with free-thinking creativity. How can a company whose philosophy of information sharing is so at odds with that of most of its customers be so successful? This Xconomy essay explores three possible explanations. 1) Closed innovation, overseen by a guiding genius like Steve Jobs, may be the only way to build such coherent, compelling products. 2) Apple's hardware turns out to be more 'open' than the company intended — Job originally wanted to keep third-party apps off the iPhone, for example. 3) Related to #1: customers are pragmatic about quality, and the open source and free software movements haven't produced anything remotely as useful as Mac OS X and the iPhone."

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