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US Coast Guard Intends To Kill LORAN-C
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 05:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's we-will-always-have-signals-from-the-sky deptartment:
adaviel writes "LORAN (Long Range Aids to Navigation) is an electronic navigation system using low-frequency radio, used by many boaters (including me) before GPS. It has an approximately 200m accuracy and is a functional replacement in case GPS fails or the US implements selective availability in time of war. The US Coast Guard, part of the Department of Homeland Security, intends to turn it off starting February 8." This is in spite of $160M spent on modernizing LORAN stations over the past 10 years.

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Google Hacked, May Pull Out of China
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 04:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's now-you've-done-it deptartment:
D H NG writes "Following a sophisticated attack on Google infrastructure originating from China late last year, Google has decided to take 'a new approach' to China. In their investigation, Google found that more than 20 large companies had been infiltrated and dozens of Chinese human rights activists' Gmail accounts had been compromised. Google has decided to 'review the feasibility of [its] business operations in China,' no longer censoring results in Google.cn, and if necessary, to 'shut down Google.cn, and potentially [Google's] offices in China.'"

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Comcast Launches Broadband Meter
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 03:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's cap-and-do-not-trade deptartment:
nlawalker writes "Beginning on Tuesday, January 12, Comcast high-speed internet users in Washington state will have access to an online tool that displays their bandwidth usage for the most recent three calendar (not billing) months of usage, including the current month. Washington is the second market to receive access to the tool, following its introduction in Portland. 'For the fraction of less than 1 percent of our customers who are concerned about exceeding our excessive use threshold, we believe this meter will help them monitor and calibrate their usage,' said spokesman Steve Kipp. Perhaps those who aren't using 250GB a month should take it as a challenge."

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Google Docs To Host Any File Type
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 03:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's not-the-g-drive deptartment:
ezabi writes "According to a post on the official Google blog, in the coming weeks Google Docs will offer to host all file types with a limit of 250 MB, which as they say is larger than the current limit for email attachements. This will have its consequences: paid file sharing will die, more shared pirated material, newer vulnerabilities and malware distribution channels..."

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Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 03:00 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's have-you-never-wondered-why-I-drink-only-distilled-water-or-rain-water-and-only-pure-grain-alcohol deptartment:
Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies', and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

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Twitter Hackers Take Down Baidu
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 02:15 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's thought-they-were-friends deptartment:
snydeq writes "The group that took down Twitter last month has apparently claimed another victim: China's largest search engine Baidu.com. Offline late Monday, Baidu.com at one point displayed an image saying 'This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army,' according to a report in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party and other Web sites. The Iranian Cyber Army first gained notoriety with its Dec. 18 Twitter attack. Baidu's domain name records were the focus of the hack. On Monday, the company was using domain name servers belonging to HostGator, a Florida ISP, instead of the Baidu.com nameservers the company normally uses."

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Google Charges ETF For Nexus One On Top of Carrier's
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 01:30 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's hand-in-the-cookie-jar deptartment:
dumbnose sends along the news that Google is double-dipping on the Nexus One early termination fee. Ars sorts out the double dose of fine print from Google and T-Mobile. What it boils down to is, if you give up on your Nexus One between 14 days and 120 days after the sale, it will cost you $550: $350 to Google (automatically charged to the credit card you used to buy the phone) and $200 to T-Mobile. After 120 days the Google fee goes away and after 550 days the T-Mobile ETF begins prorating. A poster on Dave Farber's email list provides another perspective on the "restructuring of the handset premium."

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Boxee Opens Beta To All
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 01:00 PM
By kdawson from Slashdot's convergence-in-a-box deptartment:
DeviceGuru writes "Boxee has quietly moved its long-awaited Beta release onto its public download site, reports OpenBoxeeBox.com. The new version of this free Internet- and local- A/V streaming player currently supports PCs running Mac OS X, Windows XP, and Ubuntu OSes, with an Apple TV version coming soon. Key enhancements include a vastly redesigned homescreen and new global menu, which collectively make it much quicker to locate content, an improved search function that now treats online and local media equivalently, so you can locate and play movie or TV show titles much faster, plus — at long last — a fully functional Netflix instant-downloads player appears in the Windows version (but not in the Linux version). Also of significance is that Boxee's graphical engine has migrated from from OpenGL to DirectX, allowing it to take advantage of Direct X video acceleration. The free public Boxee Beta A/V player software is available on Boxee's website."

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DynDNS.com Acquires EveryDNS
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 11:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's keep-it-free deptartment:
funfail writes in with the news that, five days ago, EveryDNS was sold to DynDNS.com. From the announcement and e-mail from EveryDNS's founder, David Ulevitch: "Since starting EveryDNS in June of 2001 while a freshman in college, my goal has always been to provide simple, reliable and secure DNS services to the Internet community. I'm proud to say that we've lived up to that mission and delivered robust DNS services to over 400,000 domains. Nearly 9 years later, it's now time to put the service in more capable hands and I'm happy to announce that I've found a great home for EveryDNS. I have sold the EveryDNS service to Dyn Inc., the operators of the immensely popular DynDNS.com service." EveryDNS has been one of the most popular free (or one-time donation) DNS suppliers. From the FAQ at the link above: "Will the service remain free? While we don't 100% have the answer to that yet, we will not be making any changes to the service you are currently receiving for the foreseeable future. We will be discontinuing signups in the near future but existing accounts will remain active and fully functional."

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Smartphones Receive Holy Blessing
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's blessed-are-the-phone-makers deptartment:
jeffmeden writes "Plow Monday is normally for blessing laborers and their tools; as the name suggests it is aimed at those who work the land. A church service in London, England Monday decided to go after a more modern audience: office workers and their modern communication gadgets. From the Times article: 'The congregation at St Lawrence Jewry in the City of London raised their mobiles and iPods above their heads and Canon Parrott raised his voice to the heavens to address the Lord God of all Creation. "May our tongues be gentle, our e-mails be simple and our websites be accessible," he said.'"

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Star Trek Online Open Beta Starts Today
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 10:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's let's-see-what-she's-got deptartment:
Today Cryptic Studios will begin the open beta of Star Trek Online, opening their test servers to invitees and anyone who has pre-ordered the game. The beta will run through the 26th, and the game will officially launch on February 2nd; head-start players will be allowed in on January 29th. The game is set in the old universe (not the rebooted one from last year's movie), and takes place roughly 30 years after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis. There are two playable factions to start — the Federation and the Klingon Empire — and more may become available later on. There will be conflict between the two factions, but supposedly all PvP will be "optional and consensual." Players will be able to choose from a variety of ships, and they'll see cameos from familiar characters. Eurogamer has a hands-on preview of the game, and fans of the Trek universe will be pleased to hear that "Cryptic is clearly thinking about Star Trek first and MMO convention second." A number of gameplay trailers are available for viewing, and the official forums have a nice collection of facts.

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Bell Labs Says Networks Can Be 1000 Times More Energy Efficient
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 10:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-not-easy-being-green deptartment:
judgecorp writes "Bell Labs believes that data networks can be more efficient and has launched a consortium which aims to develop technology that uses only a thousandth of current network energy requirements by 2015. The Green Touch initiative is going to focus in particular on wireless, seeking to reduce wasted energy in signal broadcasts. Cynics might say Alcatel-Lucent is using its research division to distract attention from its troubles — the Financial Times described it as 'a poster child for much that is wrong in the telecoms equipment industry' — but Bell Labs still commands respect and support, and the goal it has set is an interesting one."

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NASA Satellite Looks For Response From Dead Mars Craft
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 09:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's it's-dead-jim deptartment:
coondoggie writes "NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter will next week make a number of passes over the presumed dead Phoenix Mars Lander on the surface of the planet and listen for what the space agency called possible, though improbable, radio transmissions. Odyssey will pass over the Phoenix landing site about 10 times this month and two longer listening tries in February and March trying to determine if the craft survived Martian winter and try to lock onto a signal and gain information about the lander’s status."

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Spider-Man 4 Scrapped, Franchise Reboot Planned
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 08:15 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's things-from-the-past-decade-don't-need-reboots deptartment:
derGoldstein writes "Yesterday we discussed which sci-fi should get the reboot treatment next. If you consider Spider-Man as 'proper sci-fi,' then it would appear that's the answer. 'Sony Pictures decided today to reboot the Spider-Man franchise after Sam Raimi pulled out of Spider-Man 4 because he felt he couldn't make its summer release date and keep the film's creative integrity. This means that Raimi and the cast including star Tobey Maguire are out. There will be no Spider-Man 4. Instead, the studio will focus on a reboot script by Jamie Vanderbilt with a new director and a new cast.'" Perhaps Raimi is too busy working on other projects.

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Mozilla Rolls Out Firefox 3.6 RC, Nears Final
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 07:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onwards-and-upwards deptartment:
CWmike writes "Mozilla has shipped a release candidate build of Firefox 3.6 that, barring problems, will become the final, finished version of the upgrade. Firefox 3.6 RC1, which followed a run of betas that started in early November, features nearly 100 bug fixes from the fifth beta that Mozilla issued Dec. 17. The fixes resolved numerous crash bugs, including one that brought down the browser when it was steered to Yahoo's front page. Another fix removed a small amount of code owned by Microsoft from Firefox. The code was pointed out by a Mozilla contributor, and after digging, another developer found the original Microsoft license agreement. 'Amusingly enough, it's actually really permissive. Really the only part that's problematic is the agreement to "include the copyright notice ... on your product label and as a part of the sign-on message for your software product,"' wrote Kyle Huey on Mozilla's Bugzilla. Even so, others working on the bug said the code needed to be replaced with Mozilla's own."

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Apache May Stop 1.3, 2.0 Series Releases
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 07:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's out-with-the-old deptartment:
Dan Jones writes "The Apache Software Foundation may stop releasing new versions of the older 1.3 and 2.0 series of its flagship Web server product with most development now focused on the 2.2 series. Nothing is final yet, but messages to the Apache httpd developer mailing list recommend the formal deprecation of the 1.3.x branch, with most citing a lack of development activity. The Apache HTTP server project is one of the most successful and popular open source projects and has become an integral part of the technology stack for thousands of Web and SaaS applications. The first generation of Apache was released in 1995, and the 2.0 series began in 2002. Apache httpd 2.2 began in 2005, with the latest release (October 2009) being 2.2.14. However, the most recent releases of the 1.3 and 2.0 series servers were back in January 2008. With the combined total of active 1.3 and 2.0 series Apache Web servers well into the millions, any decision to end-of-life either product will be watched closely."

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US Youth Have Serious Mental Health Issues
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 06:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's get-off-my-lawn-and-take-your-adhd-meds deptartment:
Ant writes "Google News and The Canadian Press report that 'a new study has found that five times as many high school and college students in the United States are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues than youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era. ... Pulling together the data for the study was no small task. Led by [San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge], researchers at five universities analyzed the responses of 77,576 high school or college students who, from 1938 through 2007, took the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, or MMPI. The results will be published in a future issue of the Clinical Psychology Review. Overall, an average of five times as many students in 2007 surpassed thresholds in one or more mental health categories, compared with those who did so in 1938. A few individual categories increased at an even greater rate — with six times as many scoring high in two areas: 'hypomania,' a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism (from 5 per cent of students in 1938 to 31 per cent in 2007), and depression (from 1 per cent to 6 per cent).'"

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Second 3G GSM Cipher Cracked
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 06:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's dropping-like-encrypted-flies deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "A group of cryptographers has developed a new attack that has broken Kasumi, the encryption algorithm used to secure traffic on 3G GSM wireless networks. The technique enables them to recover a full key by using a tactic known as a related-hey attack, but experts say it is not the end of the world for Kasumi. Kasumi, also known as A5/3, is the standard cipher used to encrypt communications on 3G GSM networks, and it's a modified version of an older algorithm called Misty. In the abstract of their paper, the cryptographers say the attack can be implemented easily on one standard PC. 'In this paper we describe a new type of attack called a sandwich attack, and use it to construct a simple distinguisher for 7 of the 8 rounds of KASUMI with an amazingly high probability of 214. By using this distinguisher and analyzing the single remaining round, we can derive the complete 128 bit key of the full KASUMI by using only 4 related keys, 226 data, 230 bytes of memory, and 232 time. These complexities are so small that we have actually simulated the attack in less than two hours on a single PC, and experimentally verified its correctness and complexity.'"

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An Android Developer's Top 10 Gripes
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 05:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's praising-by-faint-damns deptartment:
gkunene writes in with the plaint of a veteran mobile application developer who vents his frustration with a list of 10 things he loves to hate about Android. "1. Open Source. Leave it to Google to place all the code for their handset platform in the hands of the masses. Not only does this mean anyone can download and roll a new version of their phone firmware, but it also means absolutely any maker can roll its own Android device. ... After all's said and done, I really must admit that Android, despite its relatively few flaws, is one of my favorite platforms to work with. Quite honestly, if my complaint about how the word 'Intent' makes for awkward grammatical constructions ranks in the top 10, I'd say the Android platform is doing pretty well for itself."

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Average Budget For Major, Multi-platform Games Is $18-28 Million
Posted by News Fetcher on January 12 '10 at 03:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's large-potatoes deptartment:
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Develop: "The average development budget for a multiplatform next-gen game is $18-$28 million, according to new data. A study by entertainment analyst group M2 Research also puts development costs for single-platform projects at an average of $10 million. The figures themselves may not be too surprising, with high-profile games often breaking the $40 million barrier. Polyphony's Gran Turismo 5 budget is said to be hovering around the $60 million mark, while Modern Warfare 2's budget was said to be as high as $50 million."

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