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Towards a Permission-Based Web
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 08:30 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's walls-come-a-tumblin'-down deptartment:
On his blog over at RedMonk, analyst James Governor looks at the walled garden we seem to be moving into, and possible cracks in the wall. "As we rush to purchase Apple products and services on Cupertino’s monochrome treadmill of shiny shiny, I can’t help thinking the open web community is losing something vital — a commitment to net neutrality and platform openness. If a single company can decide what plays on the network and what does not, in arbitrary fashion, how can that be net neutrality? ... Is the AppStore a neutral network? Should it be? Is Comcast, the company net neutrality proponents love to hate, really the only company we should be wary of? Pipe level neutrality is surely only one layer of a stack. The wider market always chooses proprietary wrappers — every technology wave is co-opted by a master packager. Success in the IT industry has always been about packaging — doing the best job of packaging technologies as they emerge. Twas ever thus." Governor ends his essay with an optimistic look at Android, which he says "potentially fragments The Permission Based Web, and associated data ownership-based business models."

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Will Google and Android Kill Standalone GPS?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 07:45 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's wall-street-is-not-main-street deptartment:
xchg passes along a WiseAndroid piece on the drop in value of Garmin and TomTom shares following Google's announcement yesterday of Google Maps Navigation. "Shares of GPS device makers Garmin and TomTom plummeted... through a combination of their quarterly results and the launch of Google Maps Navigation. Following both low guidance for Garmin's next quarter as well as poor results from TomTom, shares for the two fell 16.4 percent and 20.8 percent respectively and remained low through the entire trading day after news of Google's free, turn-by-turn mapping service became public." Today Lauren Weinstein posted a number of reasons why standalone GPS won't go away any time soon.

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ICANN Approves Non-Latin ccTLDs
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 07:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's here-comes-everybody deptartment:
Several readers including alphadogg tipped the news that ICANN has approved non-Latin ccTLDs at its meeting in Seoul. "Starting in mid-November, countries and territories will be able to apply to show domain names in their native language, a major technical tweak to the Internet designed to increase language accessibility. On Friday, the Internet's addressing authority approved a Fast-Track Process for applying for an IDN (Internationalized Domain Name) and will begin accepting applications on Nov. 16. The move comes after years of technical testing and policy development... Currently, domain names can only be displayed using the Latin alphabet letters A-Z, the digits 0-9 and the hyphen, but in future countries will be able to display country-code Top Level Domains (cc TLDs) in their native language. ... 'The usability of IDNs may be limited, as not all application software is capable of working with IDNs,' ICANN said in a 59-page proposal (PDF) dated Sept. 30 that describes the [application] process." Reader dhermann adds, "Great, now even less chance I can identify NSFW links before they are blocked by my work's big brother app and my boss is notified... again."

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Chinese To Supply 600 MW Wind Farm In Texas
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 06:00 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's stimulus-dollars-at-work deptartment:
Hugh Pickens sends in a Wall Street Journal report that Chinese banks will provide $1.5B to a consortium of Chinese and American companies to build a 600-megawatt wind farm in West Texas, using turbines made in China. The wind farm will be built on 36,000 acres, and will use 240 2.5-megawatt turbines, providing enough power to meet the electrical needs of around 150,000 American homes. The project will be the first instance of a Chinese manufacturer exporting wind turbines to the United States. China aims to be the front-runner in wind- and solar-power generation "The Obama administration is hoping a shift to renewable energy will inject new life into the US manufacturing base and provide high-paying jobs, making up for losses in other sectors. But while the US has poured money into renewable energy through tax credits and other subsidies, China has positioned itself to reap many of the benefits by ramping up its export machine."

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How Terahertz Waves Tear Apart DNA
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 05:15 AM
By kdawson from Slashdot's tear-a-cell deptartment:
KentuckyFC writes "Great things are expected of terahertz waves, the radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and the infrared. Terahertz waves pass through non-conducting materials such as clothes, paper, wood and brick and so cameras sensitive to them can peer inside envelopes, into living rooms and 'frisk' people at distance. That's not to mention the great potential they have in medical imaging. Because terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionize electrons, it's easy to dismiss fears over their health effects. And yet the evidence is mixed: some studies have reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, have reported none. Now a team led by Los Alamos National Labs thinks it knows why. They say that although the forces that terahertz waves exert on double-stranded DNA are tiny, in certain circumstances resonant effects can unzip the DNA strands, tearing them apart. This creates bubbles in the strands that can significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. With terahertz scanners already appearing in airports and hospitals, the question that now urgently needs answering is what level of exposure is safe."

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FCC Mulling More Control For Electronic Media
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 04:30 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's yeah-that-sounds-fantastic deptartment:
A recent Notice of Inquiry from the FCC is looking for opinions on how the "evolving electronic media landscape" affects kids, and whether the FCC itself should have more regulatory control over such media. The full NOI (PDF) is available online. "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski included a statement with the NOI in which he noted that 'twenty years ago, parents worried about one or two TV sets in the house,' while today, media choices are far more widespread for children, including videogames, which 'have become a prevalent entertainment source in millions of homes and a daily reality for millions of kids.'"

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USB 3.0 the Real Deal, SATA 6GB Not Yet
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 01:10 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's built-for-speed deptartment:
MojoKid writes "HotHardware has posted a sneak peek at a new motherboard Asus has coming down the pipe with USB 3.0 and SATA 6G support. The Asus P7P55D-E Premium has a PLX PCI Express Gen 2 switch implementation that connects to NEC USB 3.0 and Marvell SATA 6G controller chips. With a USB 3.0 enabled external hard drive connected to a USB 2.0 port and then to the board's USB 3.0 port, there were some rather impressive gains to observe. When connected to a USB 3.0 port, the external hard drive was about 5 — 6x faster versus connecting over USB 2.0, with total throughput in excess of 130MB/sec. On the other hand, benchmarks with Seagate's new Barracuda XT SATA 6G drive show little performance difference but a burst rate that is off the charts. According to ATTO, there are slight overall performance benefits to be had connecting the drive to the SATA 6G controller, but the deltas were quite small; somewhere in the neighborhood of 5MB/s or so."

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D&D On Google Wave
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '09 at 12:10 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's i-failed-my-invite-throw deptartment:
Jon Stokes at the Opposable Thumbs blog relates his experience using Google Wave as a platform for Dungeons and Dragons — the true test of success for any new communications technology. A post at Spirits of Eden lists some of Wave's strengths for gaming. Quoting: "The few games I'm following typically have at least three waves: one for recruiting and general discussion, another for out-of-character interactions ('table talk'), and the main wave where the actual in-character gaming takes place. Individual players are also encouraged to start waves between themselves for any conversations that the GM shouldn't be privy to. Character sheets can be posted in a private wave between a player and the GM, and character biographies can go anywhere where the other players can get access to them. The waves are persistent, accessible to anyone who's added to them, and include the ability to track changes, so they ultimately work quite well as a medium for the non-tactical parts of an RPG. A newcomer can jump right in and get up-to-speed on past interactions, and a GM or industrious player can constantly maintain the official record of play by going back and fixing errors, formatting text, adding and deleting material, and reorganizing posts."

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New Threats Against Pirate Bay Owners
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 10:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-time-we're-really-warning-you deptartment:
angry tapir writes "The Pirate Bay should be closed, and if it isn't, two of the founders will each have to pay a fine of 500,000 Swedish kronor (US$71,500), according to a verdict in the Stockholm District Court. This time it's Fredrik Neij and Gottfrid Svartholm Warg who are in the court's crosshairs. They have been forced to shut down the site or pay the fine. The court has stated that the site will have to remain closed unless Neij and Warg are exonerated on another similar case they're involved in, which is now on appeal."

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Hulu Blocks International Access Via Witopia
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 07:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's secretly-to-increase-american-tourism deptartment:
An anonymous reader notes, and excerpts from, an article at PC Authority: "It's human nature that people always want what they can't have — which is why there's so much interest around the world in accessing the US-only Hulu site. Hulu offers a range of television shows for streaming, including Family Guy, The Daily Show and House along with a few full length movies. ... If you're outside the US, the easiest method for accessing Hulu that many people are discussing online, is using a US-based VPN, which tricks Hulu into thinking their computer is within the US. Initially Hulu started cracking down on free VPN services such as Hotspot Shield, but now it's turned its attention to Witopia — which costs $40 or $US60 per year but offers a faster, more secure and more reliable service than its free competitors. Initially Witopia's LA gateway remained unaffected, but now Hulu has blocked this as well."

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Federal Judge Says E-mail Not Protected By 4th Amendment
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 04:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's persons-papers-and-effects deptartment:
DustyShadow writes "In the case In re United States, Judge Mosman ruled that there is no constitutional requirement of notice to the account holder because the Fourth Amendment does not apply to e-mails under the third-party doctrine. 'When a person uses the Internet, the user's actions are no longer in his or her physical home; in fact he or she is not truly acting in private space at all. The user is generally accessing the Internet with a network account and computer storage owned by an ISP like Comcast or NetZero. All materials stored online, whether they are e-mails or remotely stored documents, are physically stored on servers owned by an ISP. When we send an e-mail or instant message from the comfort of our own homes to a friend across town the message travels from our computer to computers owned by a third party, the ISP, before being delivered to the intended recipient. Thus, “private” information is actually being held by third-party private companies.""

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Nintendo Announces DSi XL
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's time-for-some-side-talkin' deptartment:
lbalbalba writes "This morning, Nintendo announced the third upgrade to the DS family, the DSi LL (or DSi XL). It will be released in Japan on November 21, one year after the DSi debuted, for ¥20,000 (approx. $220). The LL's main improvement is the size of its screens, which have been increased from 3.25" to 4.2" with a moderate increase to the size of the chassis. The device also includes a much bigger stylus, which looks to be the size of a ballpoint pen, and battery life has reportedly been increased to five hours at maximum screen brightness."

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Telco Sues City For Plan To Roll Out Own Broadband
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 03:45 PM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's forcing-the-hand deptartment:
Syngularity writes 'MaximumPC is featuring an article about one broadband provider's decision to sue the city of Monticello, Minnesota after residents passed a referendum to roll out their own fiber optic system. TDS Telecommunications had earlier denied the city's request for the company to provide fiber optic service. During the ensuing legal battle, which prevented the citizens from following through with their plans, TDS Telecommunications took the opportunity to roll out a fiber system.'

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Fixing Bugs, But Bypassing the Source Code
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 03:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's wrapping-puzzles-in-enigmas deptartment:
shreshtha contributes this snippet from MIT's Technology Review: "Martin Rinard, a professor of computer science at MIT, is unabashed about the ultimate goal of his group's research: 'delivering an immortal, invulnerable program.' In work presented this month at the ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles in Big Sky, MT, his group has developed software that can find and fix certain types of software bugs within a matter of minutes." Interestingly, this software doesn't need access to the source code of the target program.

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The Internet Turns 40, For a Second Time
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-you-were-conceived-9-months-earlier deptartment:
sean_nestor writes with this excerpt from The Register: "Some date the dawn of the net to September 12, 1969, when a team of engineers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) connected the first two machines on the first node of ARPAnet, the US Department of Defense-funded network that eventually morphed into the modern interwebs. But others — including Professor Leonard Kleinrock, who led that engineering team — peg the birthday to October 29, when the first message was sent between the remote nodes. 'That's the day,' Kleinrock tells The Reg, 'the internet uttered its first words.' ...A 50kbps AT&T pipe connected the UCLA and SRI nodes, and the first message sent was the word 'log' — or at least that was the idea. UCLA would send the 'log' and SRI would respond with 'in.' But after UCLA typed the 'l' and the 'o,' the 'g' caused a memory overflow on the SRI IMP. ... 'So the first message was "Lo," as in "Lo and Behold,"' Kleinrock says. 'We couldn't have asked for a better message — and we didn't plan it.'"

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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 12:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's napkins-and-a-digital-camera deptartment:
AdmiralXyz writes "I'm a university student, and I like to take notes on my (non-tablet) computer whenever possible, so it's easier to sort, categorize, and search through them later. Trouble is, I'm going into higher and higher math classes, and typing "f_X(x) = integral(-infinity, infinity, f(x,y) dy)" just isn't cutting it anymore: I need a way to get real-looking equations into my notes. I'm not particular about the details, the only requirement is that I need to keep up with the lecture, so it has to be fast, fast, fast. Straight LaTeX is way too slow, and Microsoft's Equation Editor isn't even worth mentioning. The platform is not a concern (I'm on a MacBook Pro and can run either Windows or Ubuntu in a virtual box if need be), but the less of a hit to battery life, the better. I've looked at several dedicated equation editing programs, but none of them, or their reviews, make any mention of speed. I've even thought about investing in a low-end Wacom tablet (does anyone know if there are ultra-cheap graphics tablets designed for non-artists?), but I figured I'd see if anyone at Slashdot has a better solution."

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New Improvements On the Attacks On WPA/TKIP
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's feelin'-nervous deptartment:
olahau writes "Two weeks ago, improvements to the previously reported attack on WPA/TKIP, were presented at the NorSec Conference in Oslo, Norway. In their paper coined 'An Improved Attack on TKIP,' Finn Michael Halvorsen and Olav Haugen describes the improvements, which enables an attacker to inject larger maliciously crafted packets into a WPA/TKIP protected network, thus opening the probabilities for new and more sophisticated attacks against the well established wireless security protocol."

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Mozilla Releases SeaMonkey 2.0
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's little-people-in-fishbowls deptartment:
binarybum writes "Often forgotten, but the independent open source spirit lives strong in the once Mozilla project — now SeaMonkey. Version 2.0 is finally out and rivals Firefox with similar features but integrated email with a small footprint." The Register has a short piece on the 2.0 release, which mentions that SeaMonkey is now based on Firefox 3.5.4. Stephen Shankland lists some of the features in a handy bullet-point style, too. I'm using the new release right now; it's crashed once — but only once — in several hours of use.

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Seamonkey 2.0 Is Here!
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's little-people-in-fishbowls deptartment:
binarybum writes "Often forgotten, but the independent open source spirit lives strong in the once Mozilla project — now Seamonkey. Version 2.0 is finally out and rivals Firefox with similar features but integrated email with a small footprint." The Register has a short piece on the 2.0 release, which mentions that Seamonkey is now based on Firefox 3.5.4. Stephen Shankland lists some of the features in a handy bullet-point style, too. I'm using the new release right now; it's crashed once — but only once — in several hours of use.

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Who Installs the Most Crapware?
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '09 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's phrase-your-answer-in-klingon deptartment:
Barence writes "PC Pro has done a thorough test of the software bundled by nine of the leading laptop manufacturers to find out who installs the most crapware on their PCs. Manufacturers such as Acer add as much as two minutes to their boot times by stuffing their machines full of bundled software, with own-brand proprietary software being the worst offender. HP's bundled apps, meanwhile, have a memory footprint of more than 1GB. PC Pro has also reviewed three pieces of software which promise to remove rubbish from your PC — with mixed results."

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