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

Google

+ - 196 Forgotten map maker?->

Submitted by
LucidBeast
LucidBeast writes "Mapping the world isn't easy as our friends in Cupertino have found out. To masses Google maps seem ubiquitous, but there is a less known real heavy weight still mapping the world. Nokias acquired Navteq in 2007 and five years later they are still reading fleet data and scanning cities with LIDAR and 360 degree cameras."
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Education

+ - 207 U.S. House Science Committee Member calls Evolution a lie from the "Pit of Hell"-> 2

Submitted by badford
badford (874035) writes "Representative Paul Broun (Georgia Republican) said that evolution, embryology and the Big Bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell" meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. It would not be quite as shocking if Broun did not sit on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. What impact could this have on policy? What impact could this have on STEM education not just in Georgia but all over the U.S.?"
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Crime

+ - 209 Laser strikes on aircraft becoming epidemic.->

Submitted by AlphaWolf_HK
AlphaWolf_HK (692722) writes "Ars Technica has a story about a 52 year old man who was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail for shining a high powered green laser at a helicopter along with an interesting video showing how he was tracked down. The FBI says that laser strikes are becoming epidemic, saying that they expect to see reports of 3,700 of them this year."
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Programming

+ - 112 Agile Still Struggling to Gain Acceptance->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "According to a new Serena survey, "Somewhere around half of software application programmers using Agile development methodologies believe that their work is not being put through an adequate level of testing. To compound this state of affairs, as few as a quarter of project leads and/or development managers view this as a problem."

The survey also shows that only 49% of respondents say their company is using Agile, and of those, about half claim to be happy with their current Agile projects."

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Republicans

+ - 137 Rep. Paul Broun says scientists are tools of the devil-> 2

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) tore into scientists as tools of the devil in a speech at the Liberty Baptist Church Sportsman’s Banquet last month.

All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell.

And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior

According to Broun, the scientific plot was primarily concerned with hiding the true age of the Earth. Broun serves on the House Science Committee, which came under scrutiny recently after another one of its Republican members, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), suggested that victims of “legitimate rape” have unnamed biological defenses against pregnancy.

You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth,

he said.

I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.

"

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Space

+ - 205 Virgin Galactic's Quiet News

Submitted by
RocketAcademy
RocketAcademy writes "While all eyes were focused on SpaceX, which is preparing for another launch to the International Space Station, Virgin Galactic quietly put out a press release.

Virgin Galactic has acquired full ownership of The SpaceShip Company, which will build production versions of SpaceShip Two. Ownership was previously shared with Scaled Composites, which built SpaceShip One and is building the SpaceShip Two prototype.

There have been rumors of strained relations between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites. This news, which was not announced until after the close of business Friday, raises some interesting questions about Virgin's relationship with Scaled and its plans for the future."
Firefox

+ - 290 Mozilla To Bug Firefox Users With Old Adobe Reader, Flash, Silverlight

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Mozilla today announced it will soon start prompting Firefox users to upgrade select old plugins. This will only affect Windows users, and three plugins: Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Silverlight. Mozilla says Firefox users will “soon see a notification urging them to update” when they visit a web page that uses the plugins."

+ - 305 French Bees Produce Blue and Green Honey->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Since August, beekeepers around the town of Ribeauville in the region of Alsace, France have seen their bees starting to produce honey in an odd blue or green color. Mystified, the beekeepers embarked on an investigation and discovered that a biogas plant 4 km away has been processing waste from a plant producing colorful M&M candies. Subsequently the bees had been carrying the waste to their nests. Agrivalor, the company operating the biogas plant, said it had tried to address the problem after being notified of it by the beekeepers. 'We discovered the problem at the same time they did. We quickly put in place a procedure to stop it,' told Philippe Meinrad, co-manager of Agrivalor."
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The Internet

+ - 289 The Internet accounts for 5.1 million US jobs and 3.7% of GDP

Submitted by
lpress
lpress writes "A Harvard Business School study sponsored by the Interactive Advertising Bureau shows that the ad-supported Internet is responsible for 5.1 million jobs in the US — two million direct and 3.1 million indirect. They report that the Internet accounted for 3.7% of 2011 GDP.

The research, development and procurement that launched the Internet back in the 1970s and 1980s cost the US taxpayers $124.5 million at the time — not a bad investment!"
NASA

+ - 457 NASA Prepares for Space Surgery and Zero Gravity Blood

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Draining an infected abscess is a straightforward procedure on Earth but on a spaceship travelling to the moon or Mars, it could kill everyone on board. Now Rebecca Rosen writes that if humans are to one day go to Mars, one logistical hurdle that will need to be overcome is what to do if one of the crew members has a medical emergency and needs surgery. "Based on statistical probability, there is a high likelihood of trauma or a medical emergency on a deep space mission," says Carnegie Mellon professor James Antaki. It's not just a matter of whether you'll have the expertise on board to carry out such a task: Surgery in zero gravity presents its own set of potentially deadly complications because in zero gravity, blood and bodily fluids will not just stay put, in the body where they belong but could contaminate the entire cabin, threatening everybody on board. This week, NASA is testing a device known as the Aqueous Immersion Surgical System (AISS) that could possibly make space surgery possible. Designed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Louisville, AISS is a domed box that can fit over a wound. When filled with a sterile saline solution, a water-tight seal is created that prevents fluids from escaping. It can also be used to collect blood for possible reuse. "You won't have a blood bank in space," says James Burgess who came up with the concept for AISS, "so if there is bleeding you want to save as much blood as you can.""
Idle

+ - 95 Your Facebook Likes As A Hug->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Next time you’re dreaming up ways to make the users of your apps feel loved and wanted, think a little more wildly. How about giving them an actual hug?
That’s what MIT researchers Melissa Chow and her colleagues Andy Payne and Phil Seaton at MIT have come up with — a jacket that hugs the wearer when one of their friends ‘likes’ one of their posts on Facebook. The Like-A-Hug vest is described as receiving a signal when a Facebook friend "likes" a post, then fills with air to give the wearer the sensation of being hugged.
I’m not sure they’ve really thought this one through.For one thing, have they thought of the reaction of passersby when the jacket suddenly starts inflating when you are standing in line at an ATM or waiting for a bus? And what about when you are packed tightly together on a metro train in the rush hour and the hug is shared by four or more other people?
It does widen the whole concept of the user interface though, doesn’t it?"

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Supercomputing

+ - 116 A Supercomputer For Everyone?-> 1

Submitted by leptonhead
leptonhead (791323) writes "The people of the internet have successfully funded a number of high-risk high-return projects though Kickstarter. A recent trend is the funding of cheap electronics platforms such as the TinyDuino, a microsocopic Arduino compatible embedded platform. In the spirit of bringing traditionally very expensive hardware to the masses, Parallella is a project which aims to deliver a 64-core credit-card size "supercomputer" for 199USD. Funding options also include a $99 16-core computer based on the previous editions of the platform. The project has reached about 25% of its minimum funding target during its first week, and has about three weeks to go."
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Programming

+ - 206 cHTeMeLe is a board game about HTML->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "cHTeMeLe is a board game about writing HTML5 code. In cHTeMeLe, players endorse their favorite web browser (Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, or IE) and then score points by correctly laying out HTML tags, while also trying to bug or crash their opponents’ code.

Despite cHTeMeLe’s technical theme, its developers claim you don’t need any web programming experience to play. The game takes web design standards and boils them down into game rules that even children can learn. To help less technical players keep everything straight, the tag cards use syntax highlighting that different parts of code have unique colors — just like an Integrated Developer Environment. No one is going to completely pick up HTML5 purely by playing cHTeMeLe, but it does have some educational value for understanding basic tags and how they fit together."

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The Internet

+ - 246 Suspicion that Kim Dotcom was being spied on for longer than admitted->

Submitted by another random user
another random user (2645241) writes "Kim Dotcom's internet connection was being diverted inside New Zealand weeks before the Government Communications Security Bureau says it started spying on him.

The New Zealand Herald has obtained details showing Telecom engineers and staff at its technology services company Gen-I were investigating irregularities with his internet connection in November.

The revelation has raised suspicion that Mr Dotcom was victim to earlier spying than the GCSB has admitted. It has brought fresh calls for an inquiry amid claims of the spy agency's role in the international "Five Eyes" Echelon Network."

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+ - 200 Transporting Computers by Cargo Ship 2

Submitted by JabrTheHut
JabrTheHut (640719) writes "I'll be packing up and moving to another continent soon. Everything I own will be packed up into boxes and loaded onto a cargo container, which in turn will be loaded onto a ship and will sail from Northern Europe, through the Equator and then to it's final destination. It will be in transit for up to 8 weeks. What do I need to do to ensure my stuff survives the trip? I've got anti-static bags and silica gel for graphics cards and hard disks, which won't be in the computers, mostly, when they move, and some of what I own will be crated in order to protect both against physical damage and humidity. I'll throw in a couple of packets of silica gel into each box or crate. Clothes get moth balls. But what have I missed? Will the printer ink survive? Do I have to worry about batteries? What haven't I thought of?"

+ - 151 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Jailbroken->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Amazon’s latest Kindle Paperwhite is now officially jailbroken giving users the ability to do things like turning their eReaders into weather station display and connecting serially to Raspberry Pi. To jailbreak the Paperwhite, the user would need to copy a file over to the root directory of the e-Reader and restart the device. The Kindle Paperwhite jailbreak is based out of a previously known hack used on the Kindle Touch."
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+ - 250 A spreadsheet is blamed for UK rail bid fiasco

Submitted by Bruce66423
Bruce66423 (1678196) writes "As a sometime computer programmer who was always very sniffy about the quality of the stuff being knocked up by amateurs aka power users, the current claim in http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/oct/05/west-coast-civil-servant-transport that it was a messed up spreadsheet that caused a multimillion pound fiasco is very satisfying. 'The key mechanism... mixed up real and inflated financial figures and contained elements of double counting'.

Those are dangerous toys we've let the children have! [Full disclosure — I didn't leave the industry because of redundancy]"
Security

+ - 117 Pwnie Express Announces Enterprise Pentesting Appliance->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Pwnie Express is at it again, this time announcing an "Enterprise Pentesting Appliance": essentially a decently powerful Intel machine running Pwnie's customized build of Ubuntu they are now calling "Pwnix".

But with a price tag of nearly 3,000 USD, government and big businesses need only apply."

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