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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

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+ - 213 Researcher runs IP network over xylophones ->

Submitted by
joabj
joabj writes "Following up on experiments of running Internet Protocol(IP)-based networks with carrier pigeons or bongos, UofC grad student R. Stuart Geiger has demonstrated that it is possible to transmit simple ping requests across two computers using people playing xylophones. Throughput is roughly 1 baud, when the participants don't make any mistakes, or get bored and wander off. The OSI encapsulated model of networking makes this project doable, allowing humans to be inserted at Layer 1, the physical layer. Vint Cerf wasn't kidding when he used to say, "IP on Everything.""
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Idle

+ - 181 Icons that Don't Make Sense Anymore 2

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The Floppy Disk Icon, observes Scott Hanselman, means 'save' for a whole generation of people who have never seen one. That, and other old people icons that don't make sense anymore — Radio Buttons, Clipboards, Bookmarks, Address Books and Calendars, Voicemail, Manila Folder, Handset Phone, Magnifying Glass and Binoculars, Envelopes, Wrenches and Gears, Microphones, Photography, Televisions, Carbon Copies and Blueprints — are the subject of Hanselman's post on icons that are near or past retirement age, whose continued use is likely to make them iconic glyphs whose origins are shrouded in mystery to many."
Businesses

+ - 148 Foxconn CEO fuels iTV rumors->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Apple may soon begin production of a full-blown HDTV, dubbed iTV by Apple watchers, according to the Terry Gou, CEO of Apple's main hardware supplier Foxconn, in a brief interview with the newspaper China Daily. The newspaper reports that the device will feature "aluminum construction, Siri, and FaceTime video calling" and will be manufactured by a 50-50 joint venture between Foxconn and the Japanese manufacturer Sharp; other details, including the schedule, were notably absent. Apple's spokesperson has declined comment. So it's not clear how solid this "scoop" is."
Link to Original Source
Canada

+ - 124 Terrorist-Related Charges for Canadian Subway Smoke Bomb Pranksters->

Submitted by vawarayer
vawarayer (1035638) writes "Students in Canadian province of Québec have been on strike for the past 3 months, demonstrating against tuition hikes. It is reported to be the longest student strike in the province. Demonstrators have shown to be somewhat creative in order to get the government's attention, namely protesting semi-nude and blocking access to the busiest bridge in the country.

In the latest attempt to make the front page, four students face terrorist-related charges. They are suspected of smoke-bombing Montréal's underground subway system (metro), that caused havoc across the island's public transit system."

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Apple

+ - 143 Apple gives in: iPad 3 drops '4G' tag to avoid lawsuits->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "In silence and without comment, Apple has quietly dropped the “4G” tag from its new iPad 3 tablet in favour of the legal-friendly “Cellular” term.

The Cupertino-based tablet maker had faced litigation in Australia and criticism from a number of European consumer groups after it was found the 4G-capable devices would not work outside the United States and Canada, despite no change in global marketing.

Apple’s U.K. and Australia online retail stores have both replaced the “4G” tag in favour of “Cellular” to appease both consumer groups, Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the UK’s Advertisement Standards Authority (ASA)."

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Piracy

+ - 235 eMule: A Decade of File-Sharing Innovations->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "On May 13th, 2002 a new filesharing client called eMule entered into our world of sharing. Ten years later we’d like to take this anniversary as an opportunity to look back at some major technical achievements of filesharing applications since then and what might come in the years ahead. With further innovation, even the mighty BitTorrent can be improved to become impossible to shut down.

The first mainstream filesharing applications like Napster (started in the year 1999) operated completely centralized.

Napster relied on a single server to store the files every user shared, provided a central file search, and even initiated file transfers between users. Due to this single point of failure, Napster collapsed once the server was shut down by RIAA."

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Security

+ - 182 Milford resident stopped by State police for radioactivity->

Submitted by Okian Warrior
Okian Warrior (537106) writes "A Milford CT man was pulled over when a state police car radioactivity scanner flagged his car as being radioactive.

The man had been given a cardiac exam using radioactive dye, and had a note from his physician attesting to this, but this raises questions about the legality.

Given that it it not illegal to own or purchase or transport radioactive materials (within limits for hobbyist use), should the police be allowed to stop and search vehicles which show a slight level of radioactivity?"

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Hardware

+ - 166 Looking for a Tablet to sketch slides

Submitted by cyph3rpunk
cyph3rpunk (823481) writes "My work involves making countless presentations. Sometimes all i need is a few quick slides, making it with PowerPoint (standard IT issued software) is tedious. I am looking for a tablet on which I can sketch slides and save it as a slide/image and show as presentation. If approved and we decide to go ahead with the format, I could then translate the work in PowerPoint."

+ - 196 The FIBIAC - a 3D printed electromechanical computer->

Submitted by Brietech
Brietech (668850) writes ""Behold the FIBIAC! Its loud! It computes! It uses actual punch cards!" The FIBIAC is a simple, stepper-motor based, (mostly) 3D-printed electromechanical computer. The program is stored on a loop of paper punch-cards, and the machine uses three, 3-digit electromechanical counters for storage (which could be expanded to support more complicated programs) Watch it in action computing the Fibonacci sequence, or jump on Thingiverse and build your own!"
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Science

+ - 393 Scientists Plan $1 Billion Ghost Town

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Although a fully operation city with no people sounds like the setup for a dystopian sci-fi novel, the Boston Globe reports that the Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation will develop a $1 billion scientific ghost town near Hobbs, New Mexico to help researchers test everything from intelligent traffic systems and next-generation wireless networks to automated washing machines and self-flushing toilets on existing infrastructure without interfering in everyday life. Bob Brumley, senior managing director of Pegasus Holdings, says the town will be modeled after the real city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, complete with highways, houses and commercial buildings, old and new although unlike traditional cities, City Labs will start with its underground “backbone” infrastructure that will allow the lab to monitor activity throughout the 17-mile site. “The idea for The Center was born out of our own company’s challenges in trying to test new and emerging technologies beyond the confines of a sterile lab environment,” says Brumley. Since nobody lives in the Center's buildings, computerized systems will mimic human behavior such as turning thermostats up and down, switching lights off and on, or flushing toilets. The Center’s test facilities and supporting infrastructure may require as much as 20 square miles of open, unimproved land where the controlled environment will permit evaluation of the positive and negative impacts of smart grid applications and integration of renewable energies for residential, commercial and industrial sectors of the economy. Additional testing opportunities would include technologies emerging in intelligent traffic systems, next-generation wireless networks, smart grid cyber security and terrorism vulnerability. “It’s an amusement park for the scientists,” adds Brumley. "The only thing we won't be doing is destructive testing, blowing things up — I hope.""
Facebook

+ - 142 Facebook Is Killing Text Messaging

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We’ve heard many times and from multiple sources that text messaging is declining. There are multiple reasons for this (BlackBerry Messenger, Apple’s iMessage, and even WhatsApp), but the biggest one is Facebook (Messenger). Facebook is slowly but surely killing the text message. As a result, the social networking giant is eating into the traffic carriers receive from text messaging, and thus a huge chunk of their revenues."
Bitcoin

+ - 188 Bitcoinica breach nets hackers $87,000 in Bitcoin->

Submitted by dynamo52
dynamo52 (890601) writes "

More than $87,000 worth of the virtual currency known as Bitcoin was stolen after online bandits penetrated servers belonging to Bitcoinica, prompting its operators to temporarily shutter the trading platform to contain the damage.

Friday's theft came after hackers accessed Bitcoinica's production servers and depleted its online wallet of 18,547 BTC, as individual Bitcoin units are called, company officials said in a blog post published on Friday. It said the heist affected only a small fraction of Bitcoinica's overall bitcoin deposits and that all withdrawal requests will be honored once the platform reopens.

"

Link to Original Source
Games

+ - 163 Space Quest Creators Kickstarting New Sci-Fi Adventure->

Submitted by
Decaffeinated Jedi
Decaffeinated Jedi writes "The Two Guys from Andromeda, creators of Sierra's Space Quest series, have reunited after twenty years, and they're collaborating on a new SpaceVenture. Like the recent Leisure Suit Larry revival, the Two Guys are relying on crowdfunding through Kickstarter to get their new sci-fi adventure game off the ground. They've already released one prototype in HTML5, and they plan to release more as the project meets future funding milestones."
Link to Original Source
Space

+ - 116 PSA: Dropbox Dropquest begins right now!->

Submitted by
TheGift73
TheGift73 writes "Big Dropbox fan are you? Got plans for the weekend? Cancel 'em. Dropquest 2012 begins right now. If you're unfamiliar — it's the storage company's internet scavenger hunt that involves a series of puzzles, challenges and, erm, origami. If you complete the game, you'll get 1GB of extra space for free, but if you come in first place, you'll get 100GB free for your entire life, while 10 second-placers get 20GB for life and so on. You're not allowed to ask for help on the company's support forum (you'll get disqualified) and you're competing against at least half a million other fans of the service, but if that hasn't daunted you then head on down to the source link and get puzzling!"
Link to Original Source
Google

+ - 212 Google Talks About Ubuntu Experience->

Submitted by dartttt
dartttt (1883852) writes "There was a very interesting session at UDS by Google developer Thomas Bushnell. He talked about how Ubuntu, its derivatives and Goobuntu (Google's customized Ubuntu based distro) are used by Google developers. He starts by saying 'Precise Rocks' and that many Google employees use Ubuntu including managers, software engineers, translators, people who wrote original Unix, people who have no clue about Unix etc. Many developers working on Chrome and Android use Ubuntu.

Ubuntu systems at Google are upgraded every LTS release. The entire process of upgrading can take as much as 4 months and it is also quite expensive as one reboot or a small change can cost them as much as 1 million dollars."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 271 Adobe Changes Tune on Forcing Paid Upgrade to Fix Security Flaws->

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "On Thursday, news of Adobe deciding to forgo developing a software patch to address code execution vulnerabilities in three applications under its popular CS5 creative suite. The problem exists within the parsing of TIFF files. If a malicious TIFF is opened, an attacker could execute code on the system with the privileges of the active user.

Instead of developing a patch for the software, Adobe originally said that in order to fix the issue, users would have to upgrade their software to the newer CS6 version—something users would have to pay for.

But since then, and after complaints, bad press, and user backlash, Adobe has changed its tune. The company now says that it is in the process of developing a patch that won’t essentially force users to upgrade in order to fix the security vulnerability.

For a popular product that was just over two years old, providing a fix to address a serious security flaw its what customers deserve. And while Adobe may have originally tried to sneak by without addressing the issue and pushing users to upgrade to its new product, the company made the right move in the end."

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Microsoft

+ - 125 Microsoft Redesigns CHKDSK for Windows 8, Improves NTFS Health Model->

Submitted by
MojoKid
MojoKid writes "Microsoft can't do anything to magically make hard drives stop failing when parts go bad, but Redmond is rolling out a new NTFS health model for Windows 8 with a redesigned CHKDSK tool for disk corruption detection and fixing. In past versions of the CHKDSK and NTFS health model, the file system volume was either deemed healthy or not healthy. In Windows 8, Microsoft is changing things up. Rather than hours of downtime, Windows 8 splits the process into phases that include "Detect Corruption," "Online Self-Healing," "Online Verification," "Online Identification & Logging," and "Precise & Rapid Correction.""
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Businesses

+ - 194 Late-ish Career Boost via degree: CS or Business Informatics?

Submitted by Qbertino
Qbertino (265505) writes "Hoi Slashdotters. I'm in my early 40ies and after a little more than 10 years of web, scripting and software development as a freelancer and some gigs as a regular fulltime employee I'm seriously considering giving my IT career a boost to be more able to move up the food chain by getting a degree. I'm your regular 80ies computer kid and made a career switch to IT during the dot-bomb days. Now I'm with quite a bit of programming and project experience but sans a degree and find myself hitting somewhat of a glass ceiling with maybe a little age discrimination thrown in there — i.e. at my age you're either moving up the ladder or out. Since I'm in Germany, degrees count a lot (70% of IT staff have a degree) so getting one seems fitting and a nice touch to my portfolio. However, I'm pondering wether I should go for CS ('Informatics / Informatik' in German) or Business Informatics.

I'd like to move into Projekt Management or Technical Account Management and am in a little dilemma: CS gives me the pro credibility and proves my knowledge with low-level and tech stuff and I'd be honing my C/C++ and *nix skills and emphasising my tech cred. BI would teach me some bean-counting skills, I'd be doing modelling, ERP with Java or .Net all day (creepy, I know) and give me some BA cred but I'd lose karma with the T-Shirt wearing crew and the decision makers in that camp. Help me make my move with some educated opinions please. I'm leaning a little toward BI because I suspect that's where the money is in my case, but am not quite sure wether a classic CS degree wouldn't still be better — even if I'm wearing a suit. Any suggestions?"
The Military

+ - 202 Britain to deploy "sonic gun" at Olympics->

Submitted by skipkent
skipkent (1510) writes "Britain's military will be armed with a sonic device that can be used as a high-volume loudspeaker or a non-lethal weapon to disperse crowds at this summer's Olympic Games in London, the defence ministry said on Friday.

The equipment, which can project a piercing sound over hundreds of metres causing physical pain, has been used during protests at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh in 2009 and against pirates operating off the Somali coast.

The Ministry of Defence said it expected to use it primarily in loudspeaker mode to communicate with boats it wants to stop on the River Thames.

Defence chiefs have already caused controversy by announcing plans to put surface-to-air missiles on the top of residential buildings near the Olympics site in east London."

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