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Microsoft Makes Office Mobile Editing Free As in Freemium
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's free-is-relative department:
An anonymous reader writes Microsoft today announced a significant change to its Office strategy for mobile devices: creating and editing is now free. The company also released standalone Word, Excel, and PowerPoint apps for the iPhone, as well a new preview of these apps for Android tablets. Starting today, whether you're using an Office app on Android or iOS, you can create and edit content without an Office 365 subscription. The company is pitching this move as "More of Office for everyone."

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Ask Slashdot: Minimizing Oil and Gas Dependency In a Central European City?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 02:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's neighbor's-wifi-problem-solved department:
An anonymous reader writes I live in a big city in central Europe. As most of you know from recent news, most of Europe's (and quite a bit of China's) gas supply comes from Russia and is very likely to be cut off several times during the next few winters (China's time will come in later years). What many might not know is that not just our natural gas supply, but also our petrol ('gas' for the Americans in the audience) often comes partly from Russia and some of our electricity comes from gas powered stations. Most of leaders, at least in Germany and Hungary, are in bed with the Russians and likely won't do anything about fuel security. I live in an buiding with a South facing roof and I own the roof space but I don't have enough land here to put a wind turbine or something similar on. Can anyone make good suggestions for ways to cut down my dependence on unreliable power supplies? Extra points for environmentalism, but I am even willing to pay more to be sure the heating is there in winter and my server keeps running.

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'Star Wars: Episode VII' Gets a Name
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 02:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's see-that-was-the-teaser department:
schwit1 writes If you feel a disturbance in the Force, it's millions of voices suddenly crying out the new title of Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens. The reveal comes as the movie finishes its final day of shooting (with many more months of post-production to come.) Although there were still a few days left of shooting, the cast of the J.J. Abrams film already celebrated their wrap party last weekend, following a bumpy few months of principal photography thrown into crisis when Han Solo himself, Harrison Ford, broke his leg on set in an accident involving a falling door on the Millennium Falcon.

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New Website Offers Provably Fair Solutions To Everyday Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's her-piece-is-bigger department:
An anonymous reader writes Carnegie Mellon researchers have just launched Spliddit, a website that offers methods for helping people split rent, divide goods, and share credit. The novelty is that these methods are all "provably fair": there are mathematical proofs showing that each algorithm on the site provides rigorous fairness guarantees. For example, the method for splitting rent is guaranteed to be envy free: the assignment of rooms and division of rent is such that a housemate would never want to swap places with another housemate. All it takes is a pair of siblings to prove that there's no such thing as "provably fair," non-mathematically.

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Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 01:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's incentives-work department:
squiggleslash writes Brianna Wu, a game studio owner in Boston, found herself the target of numerous anonymous death threats last month, apparently the escalation of a campaign that started when she spoke up for women in gaming, and that intensified during the GamerGate train wreck. Rather than hide, she's offering an $11,000+ cash reward for anyone who helps put her attacker in jail, and she's reporting — albeit at a time many see GamerGate being in its death throes — that it's already having an affect. Wu is also setting up a legal fund to go after those promoting more extreme libels against her and others, with screenshots of a forged tweet purporting to be written by her still circulating around the Internet.

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French Health Watchdog: 3D Viewing May Damage Eyesight In Children
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 12:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's this-time-with-feeling-but-not-depth department:
dryriver (1010635) writes with this clipping from the BBC: A French health watchdog has recommended that children under the age of six should not be allowed access to 3D content. The Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses) added that access for those up to the age of 13 should be 'moderate'. It follows research into the possible impact of 3D imaging on still-developing eyes. Few countries currently have guidelines about 3D usage. According to Anses, the process of assimilating a three-dimensional effect requires the eyes to look at images in two different places at the same time before the brain translates it as one image. 'In children, and particularly before the age of six, the health effects of this vergence-accommodation conflict could be much more severe given the active development of the visual system at this time,' it said in a statement.

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First Experimental Demonstration of a Trapped Rainbow Using Silicon
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 11:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's can-you-trap-it-in-my-tastebuds? department:
KentuckyFC writes Back in 1947, a pair of physicists demonstrated that when a beam of light reflects off a surface, the point of reflection can shift forward when parts of the beam interfere with each other. 60 years later, another group of physicists discovered that this so-called Goos-Hanchen effect could sometimes be negative so the point of reflection would back towards the source rather than away from it. They even suggested that if the negative effect could be made big enough, it could cancel out the forward movement of the light. In other words, the light would become trapped at a single location. Now, physicists have demonstrated this effect for the first time using light reflected of a sheet of silica. The trick they've employed is to place a silicon diffraction grating in contact with the silica to make the interference effect large enough to counteract the forward motion of the light. And by using several gratings with different spacings, they've trapped an entire rainbow. The light can be easily released by removing the grating. Until now, it has only been possible to trap light efficiently inside Bose Einstein Condensate at temperatures close to absolute zero. The new technique could be used as a cheap optical buffer or memory, making it an enabling technology for purely optical computing.

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WireLurker Mac OS X Malware Found, Shut Down
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 11:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's wham-bam department:
msm1267 writes WireLurker is no more. After causing an overnight sensation, the newly disclosed family of Apple Mac OS X malware capable of also infecting iOS devices has been put to rest. Researchers at Palo Alto Networks confirmed this morning that the command and control infrastructure supporting WireLurker has been shut down and Apple has revoked a legitimate digital certificate used to sign WireLurker code and allow it to infect non-jailbroken iOS devices.

Researchers at Palo Alto Networks discovered and dubbed the threat WireLurker because it spreads from infected OS X computers to iOS once the mobile device is connected to a Mac via USB. The malware analyzes the connected iOS device looking for a number of popular applications in China, namely the Meitu photo app, the Taobao online auction app, or the AliPay payment application. If any of those are found on the iOS device, WireLurker extracts its and replaces it with a Trojanized version of the same app repackaged with malware.

Patient zero is a Chinese third-party app store called Maiyadi known for hosting pirated apps for both platforms. To date, Palo Alto researchers said, 467 infected OS X apps have been found on Maiyadi and those apps have been downloaded more than 350,000 times as of Oct. 16 by more than 100,000 users.


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OpenSUSE 13.2 Released
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 11:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's lizards-everywhere-it's-chaos department:
MasterPatricko writes The latest version of the openSUSE distribution, 13.2, has been officially released. Key features include integrated support for filesystem snapshots, enabled by a switch to btrfs as the default file system, a new network manager (Wicked), as well as the usual version updates. This release includes seven supported desktop environments (KDE 4.14, GNOME 3.14, Xfce, LXDE, Enlightenment 19, Mate and Awesome) and even preview packages of Plasma 5.1, all presented with a unified openSUSE theme. Download LiveUSB and DVD images now from software.opensuse.org/132.

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Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's slippery-stuff-that-silk department:
blottsie writes The FBI has arrested the online persona "Defcon," identified as Blake Benthall, a 26-year-old in San Francisco, who the agency claims ran the massive online black market Silk Road 2.0. Benthall's FBI arrest comes a year after that of Ross Ulbricht, also from San Francisco, who's alleged mastermind of the original Silk Road and still awaiting trial. The largest of those reported down is Silk Road 2.0. But a host of smaller markets also seized by law enforcement include Appaca, BlueSky, Cloud9, Hydra, Onionshop, Pandora, and TheHub. Also at Ars Technica.

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Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 09:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's up-over-vs-down-under department:
Zanadou writes Australians are well used to paying what's called an "Australian Tax": high(er) prices for international products and services simply because they are are being accessed from an Australian IP address and/or being delivered to an Australian mail address. But Australia Post, Australia's national mail service, might have a solution: last week they opened a new warehouse/delivery depot in Oregon, USA allowing Australians to use a US-based delivery address for mail items, which can then forwarded onwards to Australia.

However, this service, called "Shopmate", comes at a cost.


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Interviews: Ask Robert Ballard About Ocean Exploration
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 09:00 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's go-ahead-and-ask department:
samzenpus writes A former Navy officer and a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Robert Ballard is one of the most famous ocean explorers in the world. He is best known for his discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the Titanic, and the German battleship the Bismarck. Ballard is the "Explorer-in-Residence" for the National Geographic Society. He works extensively on exploration through telepresence capabilities and distance learning programs including the JASON Project, which reaches more than 1 million students. His latest work involves the Ocean Exploration Trust, the organization that manages his exploration ship the E/V Nautilus. The ship carries with it two ROVs named Hercules and Argus that explore the seafloor in real-time online. Dr. Ballard has just concluded the 2014 season and has agreed to answer your questions. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one per post.

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We Are Running Out of Sand
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's maybe-you-are department:
HughPickens.com writes John R. Gillis writes in the NYT that to those of us who visit beaches only in summer, beaches seem as permanent a part of our natural heritage as the Rocky Mountains but shore dwellers know that beaches are the most transitory of landscapes, and sand beaches the most vulnerable of all. Today, 75 to 90 percent of the world's natural sand beaches are disappearing, due partly to rising sea levels and increased storm action, but also to massive erosion caused by the human development of shores. The extent of this global crisis is obscured because so-called beach nourishment projects attempt to hold sand in place(PDF) and repair the damage by the time summer people return, creating the illusion of an eternal shore. But the market for mined sand in the US has become a billion-dollar annual business, growing at 10 percent a year since 2008. Interior mining operations use huge machines working in open pits to dig down under the earth's surface to get sand left behind by ancient glaciers.

< article continued at Slashdot >

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Landfill Copies of Atari's 'E.T.' End Up On eBay
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 08:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's spooky-desert-music department:
Nerval's Lobster writes "In the early 1980s, Atari made what seemed like a slam-dunk bet: a game based on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, one of the most beloved (and highest-grossing) films of all time. The company was so sure it had a hit in the making, in fact, that it manufactured millions of E.T. game cartridges, which flooded store shelves just in time for holiday shopping in December 1982. The game sold well at the outset, but it didn't sell well enough: By early 1983, Atari still had 3.5 million unsold cartridges on its hands. Embarrassed by the failure, Atari dumped those cartridges into a city landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico. In 2003, Canadian entertainment company Fuel Industries received permission from Alamogordo's town counsel to excavate the landfill for the long-lost cartridges. Now some of those cartridges have surfaced on eBay, selling for $50 and up; if you ever wanted to own a little slice of video-game history, now's your chance." (You might recall the news from earlier this year that some copies of E.T. had been found.)

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Tesla Delays Launch of Model X Until Q3 2015
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's building-up-enough-static-electricity department:
An anonymous reader writes "Tesla on Wednesday announced that it was pushing back the release of its highly anticipated Model X until the third quarter of 2015. Explaining the delay, Tesla relayed the following in its quarterly shareholder letter: "Work continues on the finalization of Model X with the testing of Alpha prototypes and initial builds of the first Beta prototypes. Model X powertrain development is almost complete with the early introduction of Dual Motor drive on Model S. We recently decided to build in significantly more validation testing time to achieve the best Model X possible. This will also allow for a more rapid production ramp compared to Model S in 2012." During Tesla's subsequent earnings conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk shed a bit more light on all things Model X, including the fact that if you order one today, it won't arrive until early 2016.

Forbes goes into more on the business end of what's caused delays for the company, as well as how investors should see it (critically, they say).

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Users Can't Distinguish Scams From Facebook's Features
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 06:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's deeper-lessons department:
Anyone who's seen social media sites like Facebook has probably also seen scam ads that promise new features or insider accesss to the sites themselves. rudy_wayne writes Zdnet reports that a new whitepaper from antivirus company Bitdefender, which examined 850,000 Facebook scams over two years, shows that Facebook's own user experience enables these scams to flourish. The researchers found that scammers have infected millions of users with the same tricks over and over again — just repackaged. The most common tricks, such as 'Guess who viewed your profile (45.5 percent)' and 'change your background color' (29.53 percent) rely on a combination of the obsessions encouraged by the Facebook experience, and a general lack of understanding about Facebook's functionality — which, as most users know, is a constantly moving target. Users would be none the wiser that a given scam isn't just a new "feature" or another of Facebook's psychological experiments being done on users.

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PC Cooling Specialist Zalman Goes Bankrupt Due To Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 06:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's cooling-down-on-a-big-scale department:
An anonymous reader writes Zalman's parent company Moneual's CEO Harold Park, and vice presidents Scott Park and Won Duck-yeok, have apparently spent the last five years producing fraudulent documentation relating to the sales performance of Zalman. These documents inflated sales figures and export data for Zalman's products. The reason? Bank loans. By increasing sales and exports Park and his associates were able to secure bank loans totaling $2.98 billion. Someone has finally realized what has been going on, though, triggering Zalman's shares to be suspended on the stock market and the company filing for bankruptcy protection. The questions now turn to how this practice was allowed to continue unnoticed for so long and how the banks will go about getting their near $3 billion back.

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CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 05:15 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's not-meant-to-be-seen department:
MojoKid writes Since the release of its Surface Pro 3 tablet, Microsoft has pushed their new slate hard. It's as if the company wanted it to overwrite that part of our memory that recalls the Surface RT and it's monumental losses. This past August, we saw the company make a big move by deploying a boatload of Surface Pro tablets to every team in the NFL, gratis. All season so far, coaches and even players have made use of them to plan their next course-of-action, and for the most part, they seemed to be well-received. Unlike some of the products Microsoft tries to get us to adopt, the Surface Pro 3 really is a solid tablet / convertible. Unfortunately, at least where the CNN political team is concerned, Microsoft hasn't won over a few anchors, like they have in NFL, when they were supplied with brand-new Surface Pros. In recent shots captured and tweeted about, a Surface Pro 3 can be seen acting as an "iPad stand" and quite an expensive one. As humorous as this is, it might not seem that interesting if it were just one correspondent who pulled that stunt. Let's be honest, some people just like their iPads. That wasn't the case, though. There were at least two commentators using an iPad on the same set, despite having the Surface right in front of them and seemingly hiding it behind Microsoft's darling Windows 8 slate.

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Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 03:30 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's ratings-war-has-begun department:
An anonymous reader writes Have you ever wished that you could watch a man be eaten alive by an anaconda from the comfort of your own home? The Discovery Channel is betting that the answer is yes with their upcoming special, Eaten Alive. The channel says wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie will don a custom-built snake-proof suit, and go inside a live anaconda. They've even released a teaser. It's unclear what scientific conundrum will be solved in the process of feeding Paul to the snake, or how he plans to get out.

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Terrorists Used False DMCA Claims To Get Personal Data of Anti-Islamic Youtuber
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '14 at 02:45 AM
By samzenpus from Slashdot's names-please department:
An anonymous reader writes German newspaper FAZ reports (google translated version) that, after facing false DMCA claims by "FirstCrist, Copyright" and threatened by YouTube with takedown, a youtuber running the German version of Islam-critic Al Hayat TV had to disclose their identity in order to get the channel back online. Later, the channel staff got a mail containing a death threat by "FirstCrist, Copyright", containing: "thank you for your personal data. [...] take care your house gets police protection!" Employee names are now on Al Qaeda black lists.

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