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Security

+ - 226 How To Tell if Your Hotel Guest Is a Terrorist-> 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Bruce Schneier takes a look at a list from the Department of Homeland Security which details 19 suspicious behaviors for hotel guests as indicators of possible terrorism. Further discussed is the DHS initiative "If you see something say something", and the possible problems with recruiting amateurs for security, and likely result of getting amateur security in return."
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Earth

+ - 264 Climate Change Could Drive Coffee to Extinction by 2080 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Coffee is the world's favorite beverage and the second-most traded commodity after oil. Now Nick Collins reports that rising global temperatures and subtle changes in seasonal conditions could make 99.7 per cent of Arabica-growing areas unsuitable for the plant before the end of the century and in some areas as soon as 2020. Even if the beans do not disappear completely from the wild, climate change is highly likely to impact on yields and the taste of coffee, a beverage of choice among slashdot readers, will change in future decades. "The worst case scenario, as drawn from our analyses, is that wild Arabica could be extinct by 2080," says Justin Moat. "This should alert decision makers to the fragility of the species." Arabica is one of only two species of bean used to make coffee and is by far the most popular, accounting for 70 per cent of the global market including almost all fresh coffee sold in high street chains and supermarkets in the US and most of Europe. A different bean known as Robusta is used in freeze-dried coffee and is commonly drunk in Greece and Turkey, but Robusta's high caffeine content makes it much less pleasant to most palates. In some areas, such as the Boma Plateau in South Sudan, the demise could come as early as 2020, based on the low flowering rate and poor health of current crops. The researchers used field study and 'museum' data (including herbarium specimens) to run bioclimatic models for wild Arabica coffee, in order to deduce the actual (recorded) and predicted geographical distribution for the species. "Arabica can only exist in a very specific pace with a very specific number of other variables," says Aaron Davis, head of coffee research at the Royal Botanic Gardens. "It is mainly temperature but also the relationship between temperature and seasonality – the average temperature during the wet season for example.""
Security

+ - 261 Stuxnet Infected, But Didn't Affect Chevron Network In 2010->

Submitted by Penurious Penguin
Penurious Penguin (2687307) writes "CNET and the Wall Street Journal in correspondence with Chevron representatives reveal that back in 2010, Stuxnet did reach Chevron, where it managed to infect, but not significantly affect their network. The issue was, according one Chevron rep, "immediately addressed" and "without incident". Chevron's general manager of the earth sciences department, Mark Koelmel, said to the CIO Journal:

"I don't think the U.S. government even realized how far it had spread," ... "I think the downside of what they did is going to be far worse than what they actually accomplished."

"

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+ - 132 Occupy Wall Street's Rolling Jubilee to Bail Out the People->

Submitted by Quince alPillan
Quince alPillan (677281) writes "Occupy Wall Street has a new plan for helping the 99%. They've set up an old-fashioned telethon they're calling the Rolling Jubilee to buy up bad debt with donations and then forgiving the debt outright. As a test run, they set themselves up as a debt collector and they were able to use $500 to buy $14,000 worth of bad debt, which they then forgave. The telethon will be held at the Le Poisson Rouge on Thursday, November 15. It will also stream online."
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Programming

+ - 315 Developer or Software Engineer? Can it influence your work?->

Submitted by
ctrahey
ctrahey writes "Many of us disregard the impact of our titles on various aspects of our lives, both professional and otherwise. Perhaps it's appropriate to ask two questions about the difference between a couple titles familiar to the ./ community: Developer vs Software Engineer.
  1. What are the factors to consider in the appropriate use of the titles?
  2. (more interesting to me), what influence might the use of these titles have on the written code?

Have you observed a difference in attitudes, priorities, or outlooks in talent as a corollary to their titles?"
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Politics

+ - 150 Would Charles Darwin Have Made a Good Congressman?-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "It's a good 130 years too late to answer that question empirically, but at least symbolically Charles Darwin has won support from more than 4000 voters in the 10th congressional district of Georgia, thanks to an initiative headed by James Leebens-Mack, a plant biologist at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Like many others, Leebens-Mack was deeply troubled by a speech his Congressman, Paul Broun (R-GA), gave at an Athens church in October deriding teachings on evolution, embryology, and the big bang theory as "lies straight from the pit of Hell." Broun, a medical doctor, is a member of the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, and chair of its Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

Leebens-Mack says the "protest vote should make it clear to future opponents that there are a lot of people in the district who are not happy with antiscience statements.""

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News

+ - 119 Illiterate villagers learn to use 50 apps each in 4 days->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An NGO dropped 20 Motorola tablets, preloaded with mostly literacy apps in an Ethiopian village with no instructions. In 4 minutes, one boy had found the on/off switch, and he then taught the others. In a few days, they were each using about 50 apps each."
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Microsoft

+ - 102 Moore's Law is becoming irrelevant, says ARM's boss->

Submitted by holy_calamity
holy_calamity (872269) writes "PCs will inevitably shift over to ARM-based chips because efficiency now matters more than gains in raw performance, the CEO of chip designer ARM tells MIT Technology Review. He also claims that the greater competition in the ARM-chip will cause more companies to follow Microsoft in building PCs without x86, as it did with the Surface tablet, for cost reasons."
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Republicans

+ - 136 Project Orca: How an IT disaster destroyed Republicans get-out-the-vote effort-> 4

Submitted by cheesecake23
cheesecake23 (1110663) writes "Many talking heads have attributed Obama's success to an unmatched "ground game". Now, inside reports from campaign volunteers suggest that Project Orca, a republican tech-based voter monitoring effort with 37000 volunteers in swing states, turned out to be an epic failure due to dismal IT. Problems ranged from state-wide incorrect PINs, to misleading and lately distributed information packets to volunteers, a server outage and missing redirection of secure URLs."
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Security

+ - 260 35% Of Americans Would Wear "Electric Shock Bracelet" in Order to Fly-> 1

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "Infowars.com reports: 'A survey commissioned by Infowars and conducted by Harris Interactive has found that 35% of American adults would be willing to wear an electric shock bracelet in order to fly, another startling example of how many Americans are willing to give up their rights in the name of safety. The idea of mandating travelers to wear an electric shock bracelet sounds like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie, but the proposal was seriously considered and very nearly implemented by the Department of Homeland Security back in 2008. As the linked Youtube video highlights, not only would the bracelets have been used to deliver incapacitating electric shocks to suspected terrorists, they would also have contained tracking technology to spy on the wearer."
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Android

+ - 344 Why You Can't Build Your Own Smarthphone: Patents->

Submitted by
jfruh
jfruh writes "In the mid-00s, more and more people started learning about Android, a Linux-based smartphone OS. Open source advocates in particular thought they could be seeing the mobile equivalent of Linux — something you could download, tinker with, and sell. Today, though, the Android market is dominated by Google and the usual suspects in the handset business. The reason nobody's been able to launch an Android empire from the garage is fairly straightforward: the average smartphone is covered by over 250,000 patents."
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Iphone

+ - 182 An American-Made iPhone Won't Happen Now, Or Ever ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "A hot iPhone rumor made its way around the Internet on Thursday. It wasn’t an Apple rumor, though. It was a Foxconn rumor. And it wasn’t about a worker riot or suicide pacts, it was a rumor that a new Foxconn plant in the U.S. would lead to an American-made iPhone.

According to a Digitimes report, Foxconn is planning on opening up plants in the United States. Foxconn makes a lot of stuff, but as it’s one of Apple primary manufacturing partners, lots of people jumped to the salacious conclusion that a U.S.-based Foxconn factory could finally produce an American-made iPhone.

Foxconn denied the Digitimes report today. A company spokeswoman told CNET that the company actually “already has multiple facilities based in the U.S.” but that “there are no current plans to expand our operations there at this time.” Foxconn doesn’t make iPhones in the existing factories, and they don’t plan to."

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Microsoft

+ - 215 Windows 8 Fights Off 85% Of Malware Detected In The Past Six Months

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now that Windows 8 is on sale and has already been purchased by millions, expect very close scrutiny of Microsoft’s latest and greatest security features. 0-day vulnerabilities are already being claimed, but what about the malware that’s already out there? When tested against the top threats, Windows 8 is immune to 85 percent of them, and gets infected by 15 percent, according to tests run by BitDefender."
Science

+ - 218 Scientists Study "Frictional Ageing" - Standing Objects Becoming Harder to Move-> 1

Submitted by dryriver
dryriver (1010635) writes "The BBC reports: 'Have you ever had the impression that heavy items of furniture start to take root – that after years standing in the same place, they’re harder to slide to a new position? Do your best wine glasses, after standing many months unused in the cabinet, seem slightly stuck to the shelf? Has the fine sand in the kids’ play tray set into a lump?

If so, you’re not just imagining it. The friction between two surfaces in contact with each other does slowly increase over time. But why? A paper by two materials scientists at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, USA, suggests that the surfaces could actually be slowly chemically bonding together.

There are already several other explanations for this so-called “frictional ageing” effect. One is simply that two surfaces get squashed closer together. But a curious thing about friction is that the frictional force opposing sliding doesn’t depend on the area of the contacting surfaces. You’d expect the opposite to be the case: more contact should create more friction. But in fact two surfaces in apparent contact are mostly not touching at all, because little bumps and irregularities, called asperities, prop them apart. That’s true even for apparently smooth surfaces like glass, which are still rough at the microscopic scale. It’s only the contacts between these asperities that cause friction.'"

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Censorship

+ - 136 China Blocks Google.com, Gmail, Maps and more during 18th party Congress->

Submitted by
DavidGilbert99
DavidGilbert99 writes "In an extraordinary move, the Chinese authorities have blocked access to Google.com, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, and many more Google services as the Communist Party of China holds the 18th Party Congress.

The blocking of these sites was reported by Chinese web monitoring site GreatFire.org, which said "Never before have so many people been affected by a decision to block a website."

The latest move in a long line of disputes between the Chinese government and Google, it is unclear yet whether this denial will be temporary (like a similar one in 2010) or permanent."

Link to Original Source
Facebook

+ - 105 Facebook's Corona: When Hadoop MapReduce Wasn't Enough->

Submitted by
Nerval's Lobster
Nerval's Lobster writes "Facebook’s engineers face a considerable challenge when it comes to managing the tidal wave of data flowing through the company’s infrastructure. Its data warehouse, which handles over half a petabyte of information each day, has expanded some 2500x in the past four years—and that growth isn’t going to end anytime soon.

Until early 2011, those engineers relied on a MapReduce implementation from Apache Hadoop as the foundation of Facebook’s data infrastructure. Still, despite Hadoop MapReduce’s ability to handle large datasets, Facebook’s scheduling framework (in which a large number of task trackers that handle duties assigned by a job tracker) began to reach its limits. So Facebook’s engineers went to the whiteboard and designed a new scheduling framework named “Corona.”"

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IBM

+ - 219 With All Due Respect: The Patent System's Not Broken->

Submitted by TurinX
TurinX (1323321) writes "Unsurprisingly, IBM's Chief Patent Counsel thinks the patent system’s not broken. "Patent disputes like this are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry.And they’re nothing new: Similar skirmishes have historically occurred in areas as diverse as sewing machines, winged flight, agriculture, and telegraph technology. Each marked the emergence of incredible technological advances, and each generated similar outcries about the patent system. We are actually witnessing fewer patent suits per patent issued today than the historical average.""
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Bringing computers into the home won't change either one, but may revitalize the corner saloon.

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