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Deadmau5 Accuses Disney of Pirating His Music
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's could-have-become-a-doctor department:
An anonymous reader writes After Disney objected to musician Joel Zimmerman [aka Deadmau5]'s trademark application in the U.S. (his logo is already properly trademarked in many other countries), a battle of trademarks and copyrights ensued. Apparently, Disney was (URL has since been disabled, as per DMCA law requires) hosting a video containing a remix of music which Zimmerman claims ownership of. Not only that, but the Deadmau5 logo was prominently displayed next to said video. The mouse fight was on and a few hours ago Deadmau5 retaliated with a rather surprising counter attack. As it turns out, Disney is hosting a Deadmau5 video on their website, without permission. "Disney prominently features the deadmau5 Mark next to the Infringing Video. implying a non-existent endorsement by Zimmerman," the letter reads. "Again. we are unaware of any license allowing you the right to reproduce, distribute or otherwise exploit the deadmau5 Mark or to exploit Zimmerman's name and likeness in connection with same." At the time of writing Disney hasn't complied with the request, but it seems that they have no other option than to comply. Whether it will change anything in their stance towards the DJ's mouse ear trademark application is doubtful though.

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Survivors' Blood Holds Promise, But Draws Critics, As Ebola Treatment
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 10:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's blood-of-the-living department:
As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the World Health Organization is endorsing blood transfusions from Ebola survivors as a treatment for those currently infected. The idea behind blood transfusion is similar to vaccination by other means, though (at least as discussed here) administered only after a patient has been infected: "The blood plasma of people who have recovered from Ebola contains antibodies that were successful in fighting off the virus. If these antibodies are pumped into an infected person, they might help the recipient fight the disease as well."

The article mentions that while there is little evidence to back the efficacy in preventing Ebola, "Transfusions were used to treat a small number of patients during the 1995 Kikwit Ebola outbreak in Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Dr. Oyewale Tomori, a professor of virology at Redeemer's University in Nigeria. A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases after the outbreak reported that eight patients received transfusions, and only one of them died."

The idea of blood transfusions has critics, too: Dr. William Shaffner of Vanderbilt University is skeptical, saying
he was surprised that the WHO would make transfusions a priority in the ongoing crisis because they are labor-intensive, making it difficult to serve a large number of patients.
"You can't do this en masse," Schaffner said. "This is going to be a desperate attempt to provide something for a relatively small number of patients." Finding suitable donors may also prove more challenging than WHO officials expect, he warned. Malnutrition and other health concerns could make it more difficult to draw blood from people. "These are people who have recovered from Ebola," Schaffner said. "When are they hale and hearty enough to actually do a donation?"


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Ask Slashdot: Remote Server Support and Monitoring Solution?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 09:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's how-would-you-do-it? department:
New submitter Crizzam writes I have about 500 clients which have my servers installed in their data centers as a hosted solution for time & attendance (employee attendance / vacation / etc). I want to actively monitor all the client servers from my desktop, so know when a server failure has occurred. I am thinking I need to trap SNMP data and collect it in a dashboard. I'd also like to have each client connect to my server via HTTP tunnel using something like OpenVPN. In this way I maintain a site-site tunnel open so if I need to access my server remotely, I can. Any suggestions as to the technology stack I should put together to pull off this task? I was looking at Zabbix / Nagios for SNMP monitoring and OpenVPN for the other part. What else should I include? How does one put together a good remote monitoring / access solution that clients can live with and will still allow me to offer great proactive service to my servers located on-site?

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Scala Designer Martin Odersky On Next Steps
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 08:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's escallatio-isn't-just-for-lbj department:
rfernand79 writes Infoworld has an interview with Martin Odersky, designer of Scala, in which they discuss the future of this popular language. Three versions are discussed as being part of the Scala roadmap: The first one (2.12) focuses on better integration with Java 8, and making use of the latest improvements in the JVM. The second one (Aida) focuses on cleaning up the Scala libraries. But the third one (Don Giovani) is about a fundamental rethink of Scala, with a strong focus on simplicity.

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Getting Into College the Old Fashioned Way: With Money
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 07:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's all-I've-got-are-these-damn-nepalese-coins department:
Businessweek (in a story spotted via Tyler Cowen's Marginal Revolution) profiles ThinkTank Learning, a college-admission consultancy founded by Steven Ma, and largely catering to ambitious Asian immigrants like Ma, and their offspring — kids who'd like to go to elite schools, and can afford to have Ma's firm help them navigate the path to getting in. It's a statistics driven system, and backed by a money-back guarantee, so long as the applicant meets certain requirements: ThinkTank will refund their tens of thousands of dollars in fees if they don't make it into the sort of school that the the ThinkTank algorithms say they will. Basically, they've reverse engineered the admissions policies at schools, particularly elite schools like MIT, Stanford, and the Ivies, and done so well enough to know which factors in a student's portfolio can be tweaked to increase their odds of getting into the big-name schools. A slice: [Ma's] proprietary algorithm assigns varying weights to different parameters, derived from his analysis of the successes and failures of thousands of students he’s coached over the years. Ma’s algorithm, for example, predicts that a U.S.-born high school senior with a 3.8 GPA, an SAT score of 2,000 (out of 2,400), moderate leadership credentials, and 800 hours of extracurricular activities, has a 20.4 percent chance of admission to New York University and a 28.1 percent shot at the University of Southern California. Those odds determine the fee ThinkTank charges that student for its guaranteed consulting package: $25,931 to apply to NYU and $18,826 for USC.

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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 06:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's granting-license department:
New submitter Maxo-Texas writes One of the primary programmers, Wesley Wolfe (Wolvereness), who contributed over 23,000 lines of code to the Bukkit project (which enhances Minecraft server performance and allows others to write mods and plugins) submitted a DMCA request September 5th, preventing use of his code in the popular Bukkit or Spigot (and numerous other Minecraft plugins, mods, and other open source enhancements that depend on them). This has the effect of freezing all further development for multi-player server Minecraft based on these add-ons until the issue is resolved.

The programmer says that Mojang must release the Minecraft server code to the public domain since decompiled, deobfuscated versions of the Java code are included in the Bukkit project before he will withdraw the DMCA. Mojang has never released the real source code and has stated they will not open source the server code to meet the GPL and LGPL licensing requirements. This approach might be a risk for other GPL and LGPL projects out there which are derivative of or enhance non GPL programs or products.
Mojang COO Vu Bui writes in a post at the Bukkit forums The official Minecraft Server software that we have made available is not included in CraftBukkit. Therefore there is no obligation for us to provide the original code or any source code to the Minecraft Server, nor any obligation to authorize its use. Our refusal to make available or authorize the use of the original / source code of the Minecraft Server software cannot therefore be considered to give rise to an infringement of any copyright of Wesley, nor any other person. Wesley’s allegations are therefore wholly unfounded.

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Bill Gates Wants To Remake the Way History Is Taught. Should We Let Him?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's compared-to-the-current-perfection department:
theodp (442580) writes With his Big History Project, the NY Times' Andrew Ross Sorkin reports that Bill Gates wants to remake the way history is taught (intro video). Last month, the Univ. of California system announced that a version of the Big History Project course could be counted in place of a more traditional World History class, paving the way for the state's 1,300 high schools to offer it. Still, not everyone's keen on the idea. "Is this Bill Gates's history?" asks NYU's Diane Ravitch. "And should it be labeled 'Bill Gates's History'? Because Bill Gates's history would be very different from somebody else's who wasn't worth $50-60 billion." Of the opposition to Gates, Scott L. Thomas of Claremont Graduate University explains, 'Frankly, in the eyes of the critics, he's really not an expert. He just happens to be a guy that watched a DVD and thought it was a good idea and had a bunch of money to fund it."

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IT Job Hiring Slumps
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '14 at 02:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's so-many-variables department:
snydeq writes "The IT job hiring bump earlier this year wasn't sustained in July and August, when numbers slumped considerably, InfoWorld reports. 'So much for the light at the end of the IT jobs tunnel. According to job data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as analyzed by Janco Associates, the IT professional job market has all but lost the head of steam it built up earlier this year. A mere 3,400 IT jobs were added in August, down from 4,600 added for July and way down from the 13,800 added in April of this year. Overall, IT hiring in 2014 got off to a weak start, then surged, only to stumble again.' Anybody out there finding the IT job market discouraging of late and care to share their experiences?"

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Two Explorers Descend Into An Active Volcano, and Live to Tell About It
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 11:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's you-literally-cannot-try-this-at-home department:
Discover reports on the unlikely adventure of explorers and daredevils Sam Cossman and Geoerge Kourounis, who (with caution employed at least in their choice of gear) "rappelled down the crater inside Mount Marum, which is situated on one of 80 islands that make up the Pacific Republic of Vanautu. And they’ve just uploaded video of this up-close encounter with one of the world’s most volcanically active locations." Warning: the linked video may inspire envy and wanderlust, even if it doesn't expose any deep new science.

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Alibaba's US IPO Could Top $20 Billion
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 08:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's following-in-google's-footsteps department:
mpicpp writes with a snippet from Businessweek: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is seeking to raise as much as $21.1 billion in its initial public offering, in what could be the largest sale of new stock in the U.S. ever. The Chinese company and shareholders including Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO:US) plan to sell 320.1 million American depositary shares for $60 to $66 apiece, according to a regulatory filing today (BABA:US). At the high end of that range, the offering would surpass Visa Inc.'s $19.7 billion IPO in March 2008 and give the company a market value of $162.7 billion. Alibaba's executives are now able to meet fund managers to build demand for the IPO and they plan to begin the roadshow in New York next week, people with knowledge of the matter have said. The Hangzhou-based company has garnered years of attention for its scale — with 279 million active buyers in the year through June — and its exposure to a growing Internet consumer base in China.

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Obama Administration Seeks $58M To Put (Partly) Toward Fighting Ebola
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 05:15 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's let's-order-a-pizza-and-a-dishwasher department:
The Associated Press reports (here, as carried by the Washington Times) that The White House is asking Congress for $58 million above current levels to speed the production of promising drugs to fight Ebola and additional flexibility for the Department of Homeland Security to cope with the thousands of unaccompanied Central American children still arriving at the southern border. ... [T]he $58 million request for the Centers for Disease Control would help the agency ramp up production and testing of the experimental drug called ZMapp, which has shown promise in fighting the Ebola epidemic in western Africa. It would also help keep the development and manufacturing of two Ebola vaccines on track. The White House request also seeks to use $10 million in unused balances at the Department of Health and Human Services to help with the Ebola outbreak in Africa. The scarcity of ZMapp, the most promising treatment known for Ebola, is such that the third U.S. doctor to have been returned after being infected by the disease will be treated without it.

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Willow Garage Founder Scott Hassan Aims To Build a Startup Village
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's it-takes-a-startup-village department:
Tekla Perry (3034735) writes "Scott Hassan, founder of robotic research lab Willow Garage, is behind a large real estate development in Menlo Park, Calif. He reportedly plans to create an incubator village with 18,500 square meters of workspace and another 18,500 square meters of living space on a 30,000 square meter site, combining the advantages of a garage startup environment (what could be more convenient than working where you live) and an incubator (access to other smart entrepreneurs and ideas)." Would you want to live in this kind of environment?

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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's for-some-values-of-cyborg department:
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes When someone with an e-tattoo or an implanted biochip inevitably commits a crime, and evidence of that crime exists on that device within them, do they have a legal right to protect that evidence? Do cyborgs have the same rights as humans? "The more you take a thing with no rights and integrate it indelibly into a thing that we invest with rights, the more you inevitably confront the question: Do you give the thing with no rights rights, or do you take those rights away from the thing with rights?," Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, who just released a paper exploring the subject, said.

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Shadowy Tech Brokers Deliver Data To the NSA
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 02:30 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's in-30-minutes-or-it's-free department:
An anonymous reader notes an article about a group of companies whose business is to wiretap various ISPs (with permission) to gather data in response to federal subpoenas. Many smaller ISPs don't have the resources to deal with the flood of data requests from agencies like the NSA, so they outsource compliance and collection in order to keep costs down. The article profiles one of these companies, called Neustar:
Neustar can in many cases execute the warrant from anywhere within the U.S., keeping within the bounds of the country's surveillance law. But when a wiretap device is needed, they are not hard to come by. Most networking equipment makers sell devices that can be used to collect data, or used to inspect data — so-called deep-packet inspection devices, which can also be used to prevent piracy, the spread of malware, and website access, all at the Internet provider level. Once a FISA warrant is issued, so-called "tasking" orders, which contain selectors — like a phone number or an email address — are often sent electronically to the ISP. These tell the ISP or phone company, or third-parties like Neustar, exactly where to wiretap and what data to collect to hand back to the requesting authority.

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Carmack On Mobile VR Development
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 02:00 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's duct-taping-a-phone-to-your-eyeballs department:
An anonymous reader writes: After surprising everyone by demonstrating Samsung's new VR headset at IFA yesterday, John Carmack spoke with Gamasutra about the difficulties of developing virtual reality in a mobile environment. He also had some interesting comments on developing for Android: 'Okay, there's the normal hell of moving to a new platform — and I gotta say, Android was more hell to move to than most consoles I've adopted. Just because of the way Google has to position things across a diverse hardware spectrum, and because Google still doesn't really endorse native code development — they'd still rather everyone worked in Java. And that's a defensible position, but it's certainly not what you want to be doing on a resource-constrained VR system. So brace yourself: Android setup and development really does suck. It's no fun at all.' He also had insights on building compute-intensive software — if you go to full speed on all CPU and GPU cores, you can expect overheating and thermal throttling in less than a minute.

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Mozilla 1024-Bit Cert Deprecation Leaves 107,000 Sites Untrusted
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 01:45 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's 2048-bits-ought-to-be-enough-for-anyone department:
msm1267 writes: Mozilla has deprecated 1024-bit RSA certificate authority certificates in Firefox 32 and Thunderbird. While there are pluses to the move such as a requirement for longer, stronger keys, at least 107,000 websites will no longer be trusted by Mozilla. Data from HD Moore's Project Sonar, which indexes more than 20 million websites, found 107,535 sites using a cert signed by what will soon be an untrusted CA certificate. Grouping those 107,000-plus sites by certificate expiration date, the results show that 76,185 certificates had expired as of Aug. 25; of the 65 million certificates in the total scan, 845,599 had expired but were still in use as of Aug. 25, Moore said.

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LLVM 3.5 Brings C++1y Improvements, Unified 64-bit ARM Backend
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 01:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's onward-and-upward department:
An anonymous reader writes: LLVM 3.5 along with Clang 3.5 are now available for download. LLVM 3.5 offers many compiler advancements including a unified 64-bit ARM back-end from the merging of the Apple and community AArch64 back-ends, C++1y/C++1z language additions, self-hosting support of Clang on SPARC64, and various other compiler improvements.

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A New FOSS Conference Comes to Florida (Video)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 01:00 PM
By Roblimo from Slashdot's more-foss-is-not-to-be-sneezed-at department:
Bryan Smith has worked with the organizers of several Linux and Open Source events and has spoken at more than a few, but he has always wanted to see more FOSS events in Florida, the state where he lives. There was a Florida Linux Show back in 2008 and 2009, but all that remains of it today is a "ghost" Web page. But that's the past. This year Bryan has put together FOSSETCON, which debuts this September 11 - 13 in Orlando. It's an ambitious undertaking -- but Bryan has rounded up a lot of solid sponsors, and that's often the key to holding a successful IT event. (Alternate Video Link)

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California Blue Whales Rebound From Whaling
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 12:15 PM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's now-plotting-revenge department:
vinces99 writes: The number of California blue whales has rebounded to near historical levels, according to new research (abstract) by the University of Washington, and while the number of blue whales struck by ships is likely above allowable U.S. limits, such strikes do not immediately threaten that recovery. This is the only population of blue whales known to have recovered from whaling – blue whales as a species having been hunted nearly to extinction. Blue whales – nearly 100 feet in length and weighing 190 tons as adults – are the largest animals on Earth and the heaviest ever, weighing more than twice as much as the largest known dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus. They are an icon of the conservation movement and many people want to minimize harm to them, according to Trevor Branch, UW assistant professor of aquatic and fishery sciences. California blue whales, most visible while feeding 20 to 30 miles off the California coast, range from the equator to the Gulf of Alaska. Today they number about 2,200, according to monitoring by other research groups, which is likely about 97 percent of the historical levels.

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Space Station's 'Cubesat Cannon' Has Gone Rogue
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '14 at 11:45 AM
By Soulskill from Slashdot's Look-Dave,-I-can-see-you're-really-upset-about-this. department:
astroengine writes: Last night (Thursday), two more of Planet Lab's shoebox-sized Earth imaging satellites launched themselves from aboard the International Space Station, the latest in a series of technical mysteries involving a commercially owned CubeSat deployer located outside Japan's Kibo laboratory module. Station commander Steve Swanson was storing some blood samples in one of the station's freezers Friday morning when he noticed that the doors on NanoRack's cubesat deployer were open, said NASA mission commentator Pat Ryan. Flight controllers at the Johnson Space Center in Houston determined that two CubeSats had been inadvertently released. "No crew members or ground controllers saw the deployment. They reviewed all the camera footage and there was no views of it there either," Ryan said.

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