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Leonard Nimoy Retires From Star Trek
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 01:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's live-long-and-prosper deptartment:
DesScorp writes "Leonard Nimoy is hanging up his Vulcan ears for good and retiring from the role of Spock in the Star Trek franchise, reports the Daily Mail. Nimoy apparently wants to pass the torch: 'Nimoy, one of the most recognizable and best loved characters from the sci-fi series that began in 1966, announced that he wanted to "get off the stage" and give young actor Zachary Quinto a clear run at the role he took over for last year's Star Trek movie.' Nimoy, at age 79, appears to be retiring from acting, period. He has, in recent years, undertaken another career in photography, as well as other pursuits, but seems to be preparing to retire from the public eye altogether."

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Climate Researchers Fight Back
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 12:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's best-defense-is-a-good-offense deptartment:
tomduck writes "The Guardian reports that climate researcher Andrew Weaver is suing the National Post newspaper in Canada in a libel action for publishing 'grossly irresponsible falsehoods.' The Post claimed he cherrypicked data to support his climate research, and tried to blame the 'evil fossil fuel' industry for break-ins at his office in 2008 to divert attention from mistakes in the 2007 IPCC report. This comes fast on the heels of another Guardian article describing lessons learned from the exoneration of UEA scientists involved in the so-called Climategate affair. Are climate scientists finally fighting back against their critics, who they were previously more inclined to ignore?"

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Blippy Exposes Credit Card Numbers Through Simple Google Search
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-it-easy-on-the-scammers deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "In an unfortunate data breach, social media site Blippy has left credit card numbers in clear text, searchable via a simple Google query. The results show the amount spent on a transaction, the location, and the full card number. As of this submission, the issue still hasn't been resolved." The company's co-founder, Philip Kaplan, told the NY Times, "... when people link their credit cards to Blippy, merchants pass along their raw transaction data – including some credit card numbers – and the site scrubs that information to present just the merchant and the dollar amount spent. But several months ago, when Blippy was being publicly tested, that raw transaction data was present in the site's HTML code, where it was retrieved by Google. Mr. Kaplan said that early on, Blippy started disguising the raw transaction data behind the scenes, but it did not know about the breach until today."

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Man Put On "No-Fly List" While In Air To NYC
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 11:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's beware-the-list-refresh deptartment:
An unnamed man flying from Nigeria to New York City found out he was added to a no-fly list somewhere above the Atlantic Ocean, when the plane stopped to refuel in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Officials won't say what he did or why he was added to the list after he had already boarded a flight. He was not immediately charged with a crime and Customs and Border Protection will only say that he is a "potential person of interest." From the article: "The man, a citizen of Gambia, was not on the no-fly list when he boarded the aircraft in Dakar, Senegal, said a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly."

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The World's First Full Face Transplant
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 11:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's mpaa-sues-for-copyright-infringement deptartment:
Dave Knott writes "A thirty-member Spanish medical team has achieved the world's first full face transplant. There have been ten previous similar operations, but this is claimed to be the first total transplant, replacing all of the face including some bones. The unnamed recipient originally injured himself in a shooting accident, and received the entire facial skin and muscles — including cheekbones, nose, lips and teeth — of a donor. The complex operation involved extraction of the donor's face, followed by removal of the jaw, nose, cheeks and parts of the eye cavities. Then the medical team took all of the donor face's soft tissue, including musculature, veins and nerves. In order to transplant the face, the medical team has to connect four jugular veins, extract bones and join all the musculature and blood vessels. The recipient has had a chance to see himself in the mirror, and is reportedly satisfied with the results. It is unknown whether he now looks more like John Travolta or Nicolas Cage." The pictures and videos in the linked articles are all computer-generated at this point, so the squeamish need not worry.

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Man Accused of Trying To Sell Kids On Craigslist
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 10:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's in-what-section-does-one-list-children? deptartment:
crimeandpunishment writes "You can get a lot of good deals on Craigslist, apparently including children. A New York State man has been arrested for allegedly trying to sell his children on the online marketplace. From the article: 'State Police Investigator Bryan Blum said Joshua A. Stagnitto, 24, was charged with one count of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor, after a report was made to Monroe County Child Protective Services advising them of the posting on the online marketplace. The posting indicated a person was selling their children. Police said an investigation revealed Stagnitto was the source of the posting.'"

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Economy Tanked While Government Surfed Porn
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 10:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's gotta-have-your-priorities deptartment:
unixan writes "In a report by the SEC Inspector General that smacks of fiddling while Rome burns, 33 recent ethics investigations all showed that the government employees responsible for keeping an eye on the economy were instead obsessed with surfing porn — while the economy was tipping over. One cited example: 'A senior attorney at the SEC's Washington headquarters spent up to eight hours a day looking at and downloading pornography. When he ran out of hard drive space, he burned the files to CDs or DVDs, which he kept in boxes around his office.'"

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Microsoft Gets Back Its FAT Patent In Germany
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 09:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's break-out-the-fatback-recipes deptartment:
Dj writes to let us know that Microsoft has regained its FAT patent in Germany. (We discussed it 3 years ago when the German Federal Patent Tribunal ruled that Microsoft's patent on the FAT file system, with short and long names, was not enforceable. "The [German] appeal court's decision brings it into line with the US patent office's assessment of the FAT patent. In early 2006, after lengthy deliberations, the latter confirmed the rights to protection conferred by [US] patent number 5,579,517, claiming that the development was new and inventive."

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Colleague Comes Forward To Defend Anthrax Suspect
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 08:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's take-a-deep-breath deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times writes about Henry S. Heine, a former Army microbiologist who worked for years with Bruce E. Ivins, whom the FBI has blamed for the anthrax letter attacks that killed five people in 2001. Heine told a 16-member National Academy of Sciences panel reviewing the FBI's scientific work on the investigation that he believes it is impossible that the deadly spores could have been produced undetected in Ivins's laboratory, as the FBI asserts. Heine told the panel that producing the quantity of spores in the letters would have taken at least a year of intensive work using the equipment at the army lab, an effort that would not have escaped colleagues' notice. Lab technicians who worked closely with Ivins have told Heine they saw no such work. Heine adds that, in addition, the biological containment measures where Ivins worked were inadequate to prevent the spores from floating out of the laboratory into animal cages and offices. 'You'd have had dead animals or dead people.' Asked why he is speaking out now, almost two years after Ivins's suicide, Heine says that Army officials had prohibited comment on the case, silencing him until he left the government laboratory. Although Heine does not dispute that there was a genetic link between the spores in the letters and the anthrax in Ivins's flask, Heine says samples from the flask were widely shared. 'Whoever did this is still running around out there. I truly believe that.'"

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Report Blames NRC For VT Yankee Leak
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 08:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's tritium-adds-a-piquant-je-ne-sais-quoi deptartment:
mdsolar writes "A new report from a nuclear watchdog group finds that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission 'is ignoring its oversight and enforcement responsibilities at the nation's increasingly leaky, uninspected and unmaintained nuclear power plants.' Because of this lack of oversight, 'at least 102 reactor units are now documented to have had recurring radioactive leaks into groundwater from 1963 through February 2009.' So, the leak at Vermont Yankee that Slashdot has been following is not just a fluke, but is systemic."

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Fatal System Error
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 07:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
brothke writes "As computing and technology has evolved, so too have the security threats correspondingly evolved. The classic Yankee Doodle virus of 1989 did minimal damage, all while playing a patriotic, albeit monotone song. In 2010, aggressive malware now executes in stealth mode, running in the background with an oblivious end-user, and antivirus software that can’t detect it." Read on for the rest of Ben's review.

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4G iPhone Misplacer Invited To Germany For Beer
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 07:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's beer-makes-things-better deptartment:
eldavojohn writes "You may recall the hapless engineer who left a fairly sensitive iPhone at a bar recently. Well, in a PR stunt, Lufthansa has invited him to visit Germany on their dime after citing his latest Facebook status, 'I underestimated how good German beer is' as well as his obvious passion for German beer and culture. It's not clear if Gray Powell has decided to 'pick up where he last left off' (as the letter puts it). I know what my decision would be."

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McAfee Retracts Lowball Bug Damage Estimate
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 06:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's had-our-fingers-crossed deptartment:
bennyboy64 writes "McAfee has changed its official response [warning: interstitial] on how many enterprise customers were affected by a bug that caused havoc on computers globally. It originally stated the bug affected 'less that half of 1 per cent' of enterprise customers. Now McAfee's blog states it was a 'small percentage' of enterprise customers. ZDNet is running a poll and opinion piece on whether McAfee should compensate customers. ZDNet notes a supermarket giant in Australia that had to close down its stores as they were affected by the bug, causing a loss of thousands of dollars."

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WhiteHouse.gov Releases Open Source Code
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 06:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's of-by-for-and-to-the-people deptartment:
schliz writes "The White House has released four custom modules for the Drupal content management system. The modules address scalability, communication, and accessibility for disabled users, and the release is expected to benefit both the Drupal community and the WhiteHouse.gov site as the code is reviewed and improved by the open source community." Reader ChiefMonkeyGrinder adds an opinion piece with a somewhat envious view from the UK: "Open source is treated as something akin to devil-worshipping in some parts of government. So, the idea that a major project in the government backyard would be based on something as basic as Drupal is pretty far-fetched. No, this side of the Atlantic would have involved a closed-tender process; a decision made by closed doors based on proprietary software and we'd be completely in the dark about costs, about delays, and about functionality."

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IBM Creates World's Smallest 3D Map
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 05:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's you-are-here-to-within-15-nm deptartment:
schliz writes "IBM scientists have created the smallest 3D map of the earth, so small that 1,000 maps could fit on a grain of salt (YouTube video from IBM). The 500K-pixel map was created in 2 minutes 23 seconds. Using a tiny, heated silicon tip, the technique reached a resolution of 15nm — comparable to the 10nm achievable by the more complex electron beam lithography. The researchers believe that smaller resolutions are feasible. Potential applications range from fast prototyping for CMOS nanoelectronics to fabricating shape-matching templates for self-assembling nano-rods or nano-tubes, IBM says The researchers also produced a billion-to-one scale model of the Materhorn." This is very much a laboratory technique at the moment, at least 5 years from commercial use.

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Google Street View Logs Wi-Fi Networks, Mac Addresses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cannot-see-basements deptartment:
An anonymous reader points to this story at The Register that says "Google is collecting more than just images when they drive around for the Street View service. 'Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.' There's a choice quote at the end: 'Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently said internet users shouldn't worry about privacy unless they have something to hide.'"

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Biggest Study On Cellphone Health Effects Launched in Europe
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 01:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's pay-extra-to-be-in-the-control-group deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The biggest study to date into the effects of cellphone usage on long-term health was launched today, aiming to track at least a quarter of a million of people in five European countries for up to 30 years. The Cohort Study on Mobile Communications (COSMOS) differs from previous attempts to examine links between mobile phone use and diseases such as cancer and neurological disorders in that it will follow users' behaviour in real time. Most other large-scale studies have centred around asking people already suffering from cancer or other diseases about their previous cellphone use. Researchers said long-term monitoring will provide more time for diseases to develop, since many cancers take 10 or 15 years for symptoms to appear."

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Final Fight Brings Restrictive DRM To the PS3
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '10 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-blame-ubisoft deptartment:
Channard writes "As reported by Joystiq, the PS3/PlayStation Network version of Final Fight Double Impact features a rather restrictive piece of digital rights management. In order to launch the game, you have to be logged into the PlayStation Network and if you're not, the game refuses to launch. This could be written off as a bug of some kind except for the fact that the error message that crops up tells you to sign in, suggesting Sony/Capcom intentionally included this 'feature.' Granted, you do have to log into the PlayStation Network to buy the title but as one commentator pointed out, logging in once does not mean you'll be logged in all the time. Curiously, the 360 version has no such restrictions, so you can play the game whether you're online or offline. But annoying as this feature may be, there may be method in Sony's madness. "

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USAF's Robotic X-37B Orbiter Launched For Test Flight
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '10 at 10:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's hope-no-one-fell-asleep-inside deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt: "The United States Air Force's novel robotic X-37B space plane is tucked inside the bulbous nose cone of an unmanned rocket that blasted off Thursday from Florida on a mission shrouded in secrecy. ... The unmanned military Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1) — also known as the X-37B — lifted off at 7:52 p.m. EDT atop an Atlas 5 rocket on a mission that is expected to take months testing new spacecraft technologies. ... Key objectives of the space plane's first flight include demonstration and validation of guidance, navigation and control systems – including a 'do-it-itself' autonomous re-entry and landing at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base with neighboring Edwards Air Force Base as a backup."

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Lawmakers Want a Space Shuttle In New York City
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '10 at 07:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's eternal-city-or-500-years-whichever-comes-first deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "Bloomberg reports that New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and a bipartisan delegation of 17 US representatives from New York and New Jersey have sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden calling for the agency to place a shuttle aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City. A former aircraft carrier, Intrepid served as one of NASA's recovery vehicles for early space flights. Intrepid officials have gathered almost 57,000 signatures on a petition to bring an orbiter to New York, and NASA is weighing 21 bids from visitors' centers, science museums and educational institutions eager to host one of the three aging space shuttles that will be retired this year. 'These are going to be like the Mona Lisa,' says space historian John Logsdon, referring to Leonardo da Vinci's iconic 1506 portrait of a woman in Florence that remains on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris. 'The primary criteria for the shuttles' location will be the stability of the site and whether the chosen institutions can exhibit them for the next 500 years.'"

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