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Microsoft To Distribute Third-Party Patches
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's after-the-after-party deptartment:
dhiren writes "Secunia on Wednesday announced that their authenticated internal vulnerability scanner, the Corporate Software Inspector (CSI) 4.0, has been integrated with Microsoft Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). This will hopefully pave the way for other vendors to also make use of Windows' existing patching infrastructure and eliminate the need for the multitude of custom updater applications and services that clutter most systems today."

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Indian Military Hopes to Weaponize the Searing "Ghost Pepper"
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's there's-pepper-spray-and-pepper-spray deptartment:
coondoggie writes "The military in India is looking to weaponize the world's hottest chili, the bhut jolokia or 'ghost pepper,' according to a number of news outlets. The Bhut Jolokia chili pepper from Assam, India is no ordinary pepper. In tests first conducted by the New Mexico State University in 2008 and subsequently confirmed by Guinness World records and others, the Bhut Jolokia reached over one million Scoville heat units, while the next hottest, the Red Savina Habenero, clocks in at a mere 577,000. Scoville units are a universally accepted measure of chili hotness."

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Wikipedia Explains Today's Global Outage
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 10:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's citation-you-requested deptartment:
gnujoshua writes "The Wikimedia Tech Blog has a post explaining why many users were unable to reach Wikimedia sites due to DNS resolution failure. The article states, 'Due to an overheating problem in our European data center many of our servers turned off to protect themselves. As this impacted all Wikipedia and other projects access from European users, we were forced to move all user traffic to our Florida cluster, for which we have a standard quick failover procedure in place, that changes our DNS entries. However, shortly after we did this failover switch, it turned out that this failover mechanism was now broken, causing the DNS resolution of Wikimedia sites to stop working globally. This problem was quickly resolved, but unfortunately it may take up to an hour before access is restored for everyone, due to caching effects."

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Photoshop CS5's Showpiece — Content-Aware Fill
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's it's-like-stalin-was-never-there deptartment:
Barence writes "If you're looking for reasons to upgrade to Photoshop CS5 when it arrives, a new demo video might just persuade you. Narrated by Bryan O'Neil-Hughes, a product manager on the Photoshop team, the video shows the new content-aware fill tool, which has the potential to revolutionise the way you clean up photos. If you're not happy with an item in your picture, select it, delete it, and Photoshop will analyse the surrounding area and plug the gap as if it never existed."

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Sprint Unveils HTC Evo 4G Super Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 09:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's spec-escalation deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "Sprint dropped a bombshell on the CTIA Wireless trade show by unveiling the most powerful Google Android smartphone ever seen in the USA, the WiMAX-powered Evo 4G. The phone runs Android 2.1 on a 1-GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8650 chipset along with a helpful 1GB of built-in memory and 512MB of RAM, which is assisted by a MicroSD slot supporting up to 32GB cards. It swaps between EVDO Rev. A, WiMAX and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g on demand. The phone is dominated by a 4.3-inch, 800-by-480 65,000-color TFT LCD capacitive touch screen. There's an 8-megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3-megapixel unit on the front. The camera also records 720p, high-def video, which it can play through an HDMI out jack on the bottom. The Evo 4G weighs 170g and measures 120.5 mm by 67 mm by 13 mm. It's expected to hit the market in the summer."

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NASA Gives Mars Rover Extra Smarts
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 08:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's rover-that-keeps-on-giving deptartment:
coondoggie writes "NASA today said it upgraded the software controlling its Mars Rover Opportunity to let it make its own decisions about what items like rocks and interesting red planet formations to focus its cameras on. The new system, which NASA uploaded over the past few months, is called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS and it lets Opportunity's computer examine images that the rover takes with its wide-angle navigation camera after a drive, and recognize rocks that meet specified criteria, such as rounded shape or light color. It can then center its narrower-angle panoramic camera on the chosen target and take multiple images through color filters, NASA stated."

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Scary Smartphone Motion Control Patent Granted
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 07:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's can-i-patent-the-reuben deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "On March 16th, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a very broad patent on motion control in computing devices, one that seems to cover any smartphone that uses a built-in accelerometer. It was filed in July 2006 and preceded by a nearly identical patent granted in 2004 after a 2001 application. So it predates many of today's popular smartphones — the iPhone, the DROID, the Nexus One, etc. What will happen if the company that owns the patent asserts it?"

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Wikileaks Receiving Gestapo Treatment?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 07:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's picking-some-fights deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Wikileaks announced on Mar 21 (via its twitter account) its intentions 'to reveal Pentagon murder-coverup at US National Press Club, Apr 5, 9am.' It appears that during the last 24 hours someone from the State Department/CIA decided to visit them, by 'following/photographing/filming/detaining' an editor for 22 hours. Apparently, the offending leak is a video footage of a US airstrike."

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The $8500 Gaming Table You Want
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 06:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i'm-gonna-need-a-raise deptartment:
Recently I stumbled upon The Sultan Gaming Table. With a price tag of over $8k, it would have to be awesome: but it has little compartments for the players and DM as well as a drop down playing surface. If you find the pricetag daunting then you are a sane person, and might instead want to look at the Emissary which starts at a "mere" $1500 and has many of the same features. Honestly I just love the idea of having my minis on a playing surface underneath the dinner table. I ought to be allowed to expense one of these. I also wish they had more pictures and fewer renderings on the site.

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Sergey Brin on Google and China
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 05:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's to-famous-for-slashdot deptartment:
yuhong writes "The NY Times has interview with Sergey Brin on Google and China. A few quotes from it: 'Mr. Brin lived in the Soviet Union until he was nearly 6 years old, and he said the experience of living under a totalitarian system that censored political speech influenced his thinking — and Google's policy. "It has definitely shaped my views, and some of my company's views," he said.' Yes, business is personal, especially these days."

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Full ACTA Leak On-Line
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 05:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's change-yer-pants deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Following months of small Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement leaks, the full consolidated ACTA text has now been posted online. The consolidated text provides a clear indication of how the negotiations have altered earlier proposals (see this post for links to the early leaks) as well as the first look at several other ACTA elements. For example, last spring it was revealed that several countries had proposed including a de minimus provision to counter fears that the border measures chapter would lead to iPod searching border guards. The leak shows there are four proposals on the table."

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Google Wins European Trademark Victory
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's kleenex-runs-scared deptartment:
adeelarshad82 writes "A European court has ruled in Google's favor saying that, allowing advertising customers to use the names of other companies as search keywords does not represent a trademark violation. The court also went on to say that Google's AdWords program is protected by a European law governing Internet hosting services. Google's main line of defense was claiming that companies that want to extend trademark law to keywords are really interested in 'controlling and restricting the amount of information that users may see in response to their searches.' The decision is the first in a series of decisions from the court about how trademark rights can be used to restrict information available to users. Google is currently battling several trademark keyword cases in the US, including a case against Rosetta Stone, Inc."

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Commodore 64 Primed For a Comeback In June
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 04:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's new-use-old-number deptartment:
angry tapir writes "The Commodore 64 is getting a makeover, with a new design and some of the latest computing technologies, as the brand gets primed for a comeback. The revamped computer will be available through the Commodore USA online store, which is set to open June 1. The computer will be an all-in-one keyboard, with Intel's 64-bit quad-core microprocessors and 3D graphics capabilities."

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DarkPlaces Dev Forest Hale Corrects Nexuiz GPL Stance
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 03:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's two-sides-to-every-story deptartment:
Time Doctor writes "There has been a lot of information going around about Nexuiz, the GPL, and what the Nexuiz leadership has done. A new interview has gone up with DarkPlaces developer Forest Hale to set things straight. Quoting: 'The original plan was to contact every developer and relicense the Nexuiz 2.5.2 GPL gamecode sources for this title, to ensure authentic gameplay and return some important features to the community for the benefit of everyone. However this gamecode re-licensing attempt did not go well; with the former developers making claims of violations there was no choice but to re-implement the gamecode from scratch on non-GPL sources. As a result there will be no ongoing code contributions back to the community, and the gameplay may differ more than originally planned. This is a very unfortunate outcome but has no significant impact on development. To make this perfectly clear – the game is being reimplemented from scratch; all they share is a name.'"

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UK Space Agency Launched
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's launched-get-it-launched deptartment:
krou writes "Today saw the launch of the new UK Space Agency (UKSA), which will officially come into being on the 1st of April. Its stated goal is to lead to more coherency in space policy, and better decision making, by gradually assuming control over the various budgets and management functions of various government departments and science funding councils. Lord Drayson, the minister for science and innovation, said that 'People in the UK are not aware of just how good Britain is both at space research and in terms of our space industry; [a space agency] is going to make people more aware of that. But in practical terms, it's going to make the decision-making by government in all aspects of space policy much more joined up, better co-ordinated — a single point within government which has responsibility for making sure that we get everything in alignment such that the space research we do, the space industry that we're building, fulfils its true potential.' The government also announced that it is adding £24m to the £16m put up by business to create an International Space Innovation Centre at Harwell in Oxfordshire."

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The Unsung Heroes of PC Gaming History
Posted by News Fetcher on March 24 '10 at 12:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's setting-the-standard deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "The history of PC gaming is littered with many well-known and highly regarded titles, but what about the titles you mightn't have heard of? This list of the top games in the history of the PC includes the usual suspects, such as Half-Life and Doom, but also some often overlooked PC games including such classics as Elite, the space trading RPG developed in 1984 by two college friends from Cambridge for the Acorn and BB Micro systems. The game used a truly elegant programming hack to create over 200 different worlds to explore while using 32kb of memory, all with 3D wireframes. Also in the list is Robot War, which required players to actually code the participants, and one of the first online multiplayer RPGs, Neverwinter Nights, which introduced many of the developer and user behaviors, such as custom guilds, that have made modern RPGs so popular." What's your favorite classic game that always gets overlooked in these kinds of lists? My vote goes for Star Control 2.

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Tridgell Recommends Reading Software Patents
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '10 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-may-read-the-article deptartment:
H4x0r Jim Duggan writes "In a recent talk, Andrew Tridgell rejected the common fears about triple damages: 'If you've got one lot of damages for patent infringement, what would happen to the project? It's dead. If it gets three lots of damages for patent infringement, what happens to the project? It's still dead.' Tridge then explains the right way to read a patent and build a legal defense: 'That first type of defence is really the one you want, it's called: non-infringement. And that is: "we don't do that. The patent says X, we don't do X, therefore go away, sue someone else, it's not relevant for us." That's the defence you want. [...] Next one, prior art: [...] Basically the argument is: somebody else did that before. It's a very, very tricky argument to get right. Extremely tricky, and it is the most common argument bandied about in the free software community. And if you see it in the primary defence against a patent, you should cringe because it is an extremely unsafe way of doing things.' There are even some tips in the talk specifically for Slashdotters."

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New Legislation Would Crack Down On Online Criminal Havens
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '10 at 08:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's have-in-my-hand-a-list deptartment:
Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill reports that Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill that would penalize foreign countries that fail to crack down on cyber criminals operating within their borders. Under the bill the White House would have the responsibility of identifying countries that pose cyber threats and the president would have to present to Congress in an annual report. Countries identified as 'hacker havens' would then have to develop plans of action to combat cybercrimes or risk cuts to their US export dollars, foreign-direct investment funds and trade assistance grants. Numerous American employers, including Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Symantec, PayPal, eBay, McAfee, American Express, Mastercard and Visa, as well as Facebook, are supporting the Senators' legislation."

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Ubuntu's "Lucid Lynx" Enters Beta
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '10 at 07:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-that-danged-button-arrangement-sucks deptartment:
ActionDesignStudios writes "The upcoming release of Ubuntu, titled 'Lucid Lynx,' has just entered the beta cycle. Alongside the usual desktop and server versions, a special version has been released that is designed to run on Amazon's EC2 cloud service. This release of Ubuntu does away with the brown 'Human' Gnome theme we've all become accustomed to, replaced by a new version Canonical says is inspired by light. The new release also includes much better integration with social networking services such as Twitter, identi.ca and Facebook, among others."

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No More Firefox For Windows Mobile
Posted by News Fetcher on March 23 '10 at 05:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-room-at-the-ecosystem deptartment:
angry tapir writes "Mozilla has decided to stop development of a version of its Firefox mobile Web browser for phones running Windows Mobile. The reason is that Microsoft has closed the door to native applications on smartphones running its new Windows Phone 7 Series software. More reasoning can be found in a blog post by Stuart Parmenter, director of Mobile Engineering at Mozilla."

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