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Windows 7 Has Lots of ‘God Modes’
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 08:15 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's i-am-god-here deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "Those intrigued by the “GodMode” in Windows 7 may be interested to know that there are many other similar shortcuts hidden within the operating system. teven Sinofsky, Windows division president, said several similar undocumented features provide direct access to all kinds of settings, from choosing a location to managing power settings to identifying biometric sensors."

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8% of Your DNA Comes From a Virus
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 07:30 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-not-you-peronally deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "About 8 percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to an article by University of Texas at Arlington biology professor Cédric Feschotte, published in the Jan. 7, 2010 issue of Nature magazine."

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NASA’s Contest To Design the Last Shuttle Patch
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 06:45 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's end-of-an-era deptartment:
rocamargo writes "The space shuttle program is on its way out, but the core of people who built and maintained it will live on. To honor them, NASA gave its employees the chance to design the patch that will commemorate the shuttle program, which is slated to end in September, after STS-133 flies. From the designs of 85 current and former employees, the Shuttle Program Office has selected 15 finalists. The prospective patches, presented here, will be voted on internally by NASA employees and judged by a small panel." I've been thinking a lot lately about the end of the Space Shuttle. For someone my age, the shuttle really *IS* space travel. I'm going to be really sad to see STS-133 land.

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2010 Bug Plagues Germany
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 06:00 AM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's well-that-was-ten-years-late deptartment:
krou writes "According the Guardian, some 30 million chip and pin cards in Germany have been effected by a programming failure, which saw the microchips in cards unable to recognise the year change. The bug has left millions of credit and debit card users unable to withdraw money or make purchases, and has stranded many on holiday. French card manufacturer Gemalto accepted responsibility for the fault, 'which it is estimated will cost €300m (£270m) to rectify.' They claim cards in other countries made by Gemalto are unaffected."

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Nexus One Name Irks Philip K. Dick's Estate
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's acting-like-a-dick deptartment:
RevWaldo writes "According to the Wall Street Journal, the estate of Philip K. Dick says the name of Google's new smartphone infringes on the famous character name from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Isa Dick Hackett, a daughter of Mr. Dick, states Google has its 'Android system, and now they are naming a phone "Nexus One." It's not lost on the people who are somewhat familiar with this novel... Our legal team is dealing head-on with this.'"

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Microsoft Announces "Game Room," Confirms Natal For Late 2010
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 03:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's also-check-out-the-blender-addon deptartment:
Microsoft has confirmed that their upcoming motion-control system, Natal, will be released during the 2010 holiday season. The announcement was made during CES, alongside news of "Game Room," a service that will act like a virtual arcade, bringing classic games to users of the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live. It's due out this spring with 30 games to start, and will gradually ramp up to over a thousand titles. According to Kotaku, "You can buy a game for between 240-400 Microsoft Points, or if you really want that old arcade feeling, you can pay 40 Microsoft Points and play the game once, like it was 1985 and you'd just dropped a quarter." Another interesting bit of news is that subscribers to AT&T's U-Verse will soon be able to use the Xbox 360 as their set-top box.

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Aboriginal Folklore Leads To Meteorite Crater
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 01:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's bunyip-approved deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "An Australian Aboriginal dreaming story has helped experts uncover a meteorite impact crater in the outback of the Northern Territory. From the article: 'One story, from the folklore of the Arrernte people, is about a star falling to Earth at a site called Puka. This led to a search on Google Maps of Palm Valley, about 130 km southwest of Alice Springs. Here Hamacher discovered what looked like a crater, which he confirmed with surveys in the field in September 2009.'"

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PlayStation Network Expanding To Involve Other Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on January 07 '10 at 12:00 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's making-toasters-smarter deptartment:
At CES, Sony's Kaz Hirai confirmed that the company will build out its PlayStation Network for use with other devices, such as televisions, blu-ray players, and PCs. Quoting: "... the expansion starts next month with the availability of the PSN video store on these other devices, and Hirai explained they are constructing a mechanism to create a single user ID across the entire network (if you have a PSN account, it's good to go on any other applicable Sony device, and if you create one on another device, it'll work on PSN). And finally, Hirai also announced the formation of a new Sony division — called Sony Network Entertainment, Inc. — to drive this expansion of the PSN service into a Sony-wide network."

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IT Job Satisfaction Plummets to All-time Low
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 10:30 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's take-this-job-and-shove-it deptartment:
cweditor writes "IT job satisfaction has plummeted to a 10-year low, according to a recent survey. Another on general job satisfaction rated IT a paltry 45%. From the article: 'The CEB's latest survey found that the willingness of IT employees to "exert high levels of discretionary effort" -- put in extra hours to solve a problem, make suggestions for improving processes, and generally seek to play a key role in an organization -- has plummeted to its lowest levels since the survey was launched 10 years ago.'"

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Is Getting Acquired Good For FOSS Projects?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 07:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's big-fish-eats-little-fish deptartment:
ruphus13 writes "While open source companies are legion, their acquisitions by proprietary source companies may cause concern for the viability of projects. Can a FOSS project 'survive' an acquisition? According to the article posing that question: 'One has to ask, though, how healthy it is for increasingly important open-source platforms and applications to come under the wing of huge, proprietary software companies. Probably the best example to cite on that topic is the ongoing car crash that is Oracle’s proposed acquisition of Sun Microsystems...Sun Micrososytems is one of only three big, US public companies focused almost entirely on open source. If it gets swallowed up, that will leave just Red Hat and Novell. Open-source pundits are predicting that small, promising open-source players will be snapped up by bigger fish this year. And Google's relationship to Android gets ever murkier as it sinks its commercial hooks deeper into the platform, billing its own offerings as superphones relative to other Android phones.'"

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Ocean Crossing Dragonflies Discovered
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 07:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's incredible-journey deptartment:
grrlscientist writes "While living and working as a marine biologist in Maldives, Charles Anderson noticed sudden explosions of dragonflies at certain times of year. He explains how he carefully tracked the path of a plain, little dragonfly called the Globe Skimmer, Pantala flavescens, only to discover that it had the longest migratory journey of any insect in the world."

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FTC Worries About Consumers, Cloud Data and Privacy
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 05:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's what-worries-the-worriers deptartment:
pcause writes "Ars Techina has a nice article about the FTC's concern that consumers don't understand the implications of storing their data in the cloud. From the article: 'Data is now sitting on servers outside of your control, where it can be accessed far more easily by Google itself, hackers, and law enforcement than it ever could if kept within the device. Once data passes over the network, it gets much easier to access in realtime; once it is stored on a remote server, it gets much easier to access at any time. And those are just the phone settings. Google also has access to search history data, anything stored in Google Docs or Spreadsheets, complete schedules stored in Google Calendar, and recent Maps searches. Combine them all, and companies like Google become one-stop shops for authorities looking for personal information.' Do you think the average consumer even has a clue about this issue?"

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Massive Solar Updraft Towers Planned For Arizona
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 04:15 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's juice-and-a-tan deptartment:
MikeChino writes "Australia-based EnviroMission Ltd recently announced plans to build two solar updraft towers that span hundreds of acres in La Paz County, Arizona. Solar updraft technology sounds promising enough: generate hot air with a giant greenhouse, channel the air into a chimney-like device, and let the warm wind turn a wind turbine to produce energy. The scale of the devices would be staggering — each plant would consist of a 2,400 foot chimney over a greenhouse measuring four square miles. The Southern California Public Power Authority has approved EnviroMission as a provider, although there’s still plenty of work to be done before the $750 million, 200 megawatt project can begin."

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More On EnTourage's Dual-screen E-Book Reader
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's want-it-right-now deptartment:
Barence writes with some more information on a device mentioned in passing earlier today: "The enTourage eDGe eBook reader was the highlight of the CES Unveiled event, which gives journalists a sneak preview of what’s set to appear this year’s show. It has a 9.7in e-paper display on one side and a 10.1in LCD screen on the other, both of which are touchscreens, allowing you to annotate eBooks with handwritten notes or scan through web pages with the flick of a finger on the LCD screen. In a brief hands-on demonstration, the eDGe showed several clever touches, such as allowing you to perform a Google search on the term using the built-in web browser, and then link the search results to the eBook page, which is a great research tool for students reading academic texts. It's an Android device, too."

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Fake "Bill Gates" Message Dupes Top Tools
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 02:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's top-tools-are-working-on-it-top-tools deptartment:
yahoi writes with this excerpt from Dark Reading that might raise sysadmins' eyebrows about email security, in particular given the big names involved: "A researcher who conducted a successful spear-phishing experiment with a phony LinkedIn invitation from 'Bill Gates' is about to reveal the email products and services that failed to filter the spoofed message — and that list includes Microsoft Outlook 2007, Microsoft Exchange, Outlook Express, and Cisco IronPort. ... The experiment was aimed at measuring the effectiveness of email security controls in several major products and services. And the simplicity and success of the test demonstrated just how powerful social engineering can be and what little technology can actually do about it, security experts say."

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Blu-ray Capacity Increase Via Firmware
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 01:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-stuff-happens-in-software deptartment:
LordofEntropy writes "Blu-ray.com reports that Sony and Panasonic have announced a new optical disc evaluation technology that increases capacity from 25GB to 33.4GB. The tech uses existing Blu-ray diodes and is accomplished via firmware upgrade. The article says that it is not know if and when the upgrade will be adopted into the Blu-ray spec. However, given that Sony and Panasonic are behind it 'it will likely happen later this year.'"

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2010 Will Be the Year of Sandboxing Apps
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 01:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's layers-within-layers deptartment:
Trailrunner7 writes "In a guest editorial on Threatpost, Mac hacker and security researcher Dino Dai Zovi writes that 2010 will be the year that software vendors get religion about sandboxing untrusted data in desktop apps. 'Instead of the usual top ten lists that are all-too-common with predictions for the new year, I have just one: 2010 will be the year of desktop applications handling untrusted data in sandboxed processes, and it will be about time. The largest Internet security threats now arrive through malicious web pages or e-mail attachments. This is because attackers are opportunistic and these are the weakest links especially because they easily pass through every firewall. Security is not and never was about SYN packets, it is about data: the software attack surface that attacker-controlled data interacts with and what sensitive data the attacker can get a hold of if they can exploit vulnerabilities in that software.'"

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Microsoft Wants To Participate In SVG Development
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's speak-friend-and-enter deptartment:
rossendryv writes "After many years and fighting against the standard, Microsoft announced they are joining the WC3's SVG working group to help with the development of SVG. 'We recognize that vector graphics are an important component of the next-generation Web platform,' said Patrick Dengler, senior program manager on Microsoft's Internet Explorer team in a blog post."

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Which Math For Programmers?
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 12:00 PM
By CmdrTaco from Slashdot's stats-kicked-my-balls deptartment:
An anonymous reader writes "It is no news that the greatest computer scientists and programmers are/were mathematicians. As a kid 'hacking' if-else programs, I was not aware of the importance of math in programming, but few years later, when I read Engines of Logic by Martin Davis I started becoming increasingly more convinced of this. Unfortunately, math doesn't return my love, and prefers me to struggle with it. Now, as the end of the semester approaches, I am faced with a dilemma: What math subject to choose next? I have two choices: 'Discreet structures with graph theory' (discrete math; proofs, sets, algorithms and graphs) on one side, and 'Selected math chapters' (math analysis; vectors, euclidean space, differentials) on the other. I'm scared of the second one because it's said to be harder. But contrary to my own opinion, one assistant told me that it would be more useful for a programmer compared to the first subject. Then again, he's not a programmer. That's why I turn to you for help, fellow slashdotters — any advice?"

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Enterprise Security For the Executive
Posted by News Fetcher on January 06 '10 at 11:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's read-all-about-it deptartment:
brothke writes "If Shakespeare were to write an information security tragedy, it would not be titled Hamlet, rather Bayuk. The story of Jennifer Bayuk is tragic in that she spent a decade as CISO at Bear, Stearns, building up its security group to be one of the best in the business; only to find it vaporized when the firm collapsed and was acquired by J.P. Morgan Clearing Corp. After all that toil and sweat, Bayuk was out of a job. (Full disclosure: Bayuk and I have given a presentation together in the past, and I did get a copy of this book for free.)" Read below for Ben's review.

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