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Submission + - A Free Internet, If You Can Keep It (

Kethinov writes: "My Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a prominent opponent of the infamous Stop Online Piracy Act, has introduced two bills to the U.S. House of Representatives designed to protect the free and open internet, expand the protections of the Fourth Amendment to digital communications, and protect against the introduction of any further SOPA-like bills. Since these are issues Slashdotters care deeply about, I wanted to open up the bills for discussion on Slashdot. Is my Congresswoman doing a good job? Is there room for improvement in the language of the bills? If you're as excited by her work as I am, please reach out to your representatives as well and as them to work with Rep. Lofgren. It will take a big coalition to beat the pro-RIAA/MPAA establishment politics on internet regulation."

Submission + - NASA Says Staff Information Was on Stolen Laptop (

SternisheFan writes: By NICOLE PERLROTH, New York Times:
    NASA told its staff this week that a laptop containing sensitive personal information for a large number of employees and contractors was stolen two weeks ago from a locked vehicle. Although the laptop was password protected, the information had not been encrypted, which could give skilled hackers full access to the contents. In its notice to employees on Tuesday, the agency said:
  "On Oct. 31, 2012, a NASA laptop and official NASA documents issued to a headquarters employee were stolen from the employee’s locked vehicle. The laptop contained records of sensitive personally identifiable information for a large number of NASA employees, contractors and others. Although the laptop was password protected, it did not have whole disk encryption software, which means the information on the laptop could be accessible to unauthorized individuals. We are thoroughly assessing and investigating the incident and taking every possible action to mitigate the risk of harm or inconvenience to affected employees."
    This is not the first time NASA has suffered a serious breach. The agency has long been a target for cybercriminals looking to pilfer sensitive research. In 2004, computers at several NASA sites, including its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., were breached. And as recently as March, the company reported a breach that was also caused by a stolen laptop. Given its history, it is unclear why the agency has not stepped up its security practices. Beth Dickey, a NASA spokeswoman, said that in this most recent case, the employee’s laptop had been for a security upgrade.
“The laptop was scheduled to receive encryption, as part of an ongoing, agency-wide effort to encrypt whole disks of all NASA computers,” Ms. Dickey said. “This one just hadn’t been done yet.”
    NASA has said it plans to have all of its laptops running whole-disk encryption software by Dec. 21.


Submission + - Google engineers open source book scanner design (

c0lo writes: Engineers from Google's Books team have released the design plans for a comparatively reasonably priced (about $1500) book scanner on Google Code.

Built using a scanner, a vacuum cleaner and various other components, the Linear Book Scanner was developed by engineers during the "20 percent time" that Google allocates for personal projects.

The license is highly permissive, thus it's possible the design and building costs can be improved. Any takers?


Submission + - The First Amendment and Software Speech (

stanlrev writes: When is software, or content generated by software, "speech" for First Amendment purposes? That is the question that Andrew Tutt seeks to answer in an article published today in the Stanford Law Review Online. He argues that the two approaches commentators and the Supreme Court have proposed are both incorrect. Software or software-generated content is not always speech simply because it conveys information. Nor is software only speech when it resembles traditional art forms. Instead, the courts should turn to the original purposes of the First Amendment to develop a new approach that answers this question more effectively.

Submission + - Teaching robots new tricks without programming ( 1

cylonlover writes: Maya Cakmak, a researcher from Georgia Tech, spent the summer at Willow Garage creating a user-friendly system that teaches the PR2 robot simple tasks. The kicker is that it doesn't require any traditional programming skills whatsoever – it works by physically guiding the robot's arms while giving it verbal commands. After inviting regular people to give it a try, she found that with few instructions they were able to teach the PR2 how to retrieve medicine from a cabinet and fold a t-shirt.
Open Source

Submission + - Unhackable drone research to go open source ( 3

mask.of.sanity writes: Researchers are set to release open source US Defence research designed to prevent unmanned drone aircraft from being hacked.

The DARPA research will take four years, cost $18 million and promises to also help secure critical systems such as aircraft, vehicles and medical devices and make their code more stable.

The Internet

Submission + - Earth's Biggest Wine Cellar?

theodp writes: Ever get carded by your FedEx guy? You will. Several writers at GeekWire had just unboxed, uncorked and polished off their first bottle of Amazon wine, only to have their buzz killed by the need to cover Steven Sinofsky's unexpected exit from Microsoft. With the caveat that per-order shipping charges will discourage those watching their pennies from ordering single bottles of inexpensive wine, GeekWire gave the overall Amazon wine buying experience a thumbs-up. Still time to send a case to whoever's hosting Thanksgiving for that hard-drinking family of yours!

Submission + - Climate treaty negotiators are taking the wrong approach, says game theory (

An anonymous reader writes: Climate treaty negotiators would do well to have a little chat with some game theorists, according to this article. The fundamental approach they've been taking for the last several years is flawed, these researchers say, and they can prove it. They also have some better ideas about what to do.

Submission + - Google open non-destructive book scanner; books and libraries rejoice (

leighklotz writes: "Google released open hardware designs for a book scanner that "sucks" pages to turn them, using a vacuum cleaner. The Google Tech Talk Video starts with Jeff Breidenbach of the Google Books team, and moves on to Dany Qumsiyeh showing how simple his design is to build. Could it be that the Google Books team has had enough of destroying the library in order to save it? Or maybe the just want to up-stage the Internet Archive's Scanning Robot.

Disclaimer: I worked with Jeff when we were at Xerox (where he did the awesome hack Gnu Chess on your Scanner), but this is more awesome because it saves books."

Submission + - Hostess (Twinkies!) to liquidate if bakers' strike continues through Thursday ( 4

PolygamousRanchKid writes: Hostess Brands said Wednesday that it will go into liquidation unless bakers striking in protest against a new contract imposed in bankruptcy court return to work by the end of the day Thursday.

Even if Hostess does end up in liquidation, analysts say that some of its most iconic brand names — Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Wonder Bread, to name a few — will likely live on, getting scooped up at auction and attached to products from other companies


Submission + - US Air Force scraps ERP project after $1 billion spent (

angry tapir writes: "The U.S. Air Force has decided to scrap a major ERP (enterprise resource planning) software project after spending US$1 billion, concluding that finishing it would cost far too much more money for too little gain. Dubbed the Expeditionary Combat Support System (ECSS), the project has racked up $1.03 billion in costs since 2005, "and has not yielded any significant military capability," an Air Force spokesman said in a statement. "We estimate it would require an additional $1.1B for about a quarter of the original scope to continue and fielding would not be until 2020. The Air Force has concluded the ECSS program is no longer a viable option for meeting the FY17 Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) statutory requirement. Therefore, we are cancelling the program and moving forward with other options in order to meet both requirements.""

Submission + - Volcano may have killed off new bioluminescent cockroach (

terrancem writes: A newly discovered light-producing cockroach, Lucihormetica luckae, may have already been driven to extinction by a volcanic eruption in Ecuador. The species, only formally described by scientists this year, hasn't been spotted since the Tungurahua Volcano erupted in July 2010. The new species was notable because it represented the only known case of mimicry by bioluminescence in a land animal. Like a venomless king snake beating its tail to copy the unmistakable warning of a rattlesnake, Lucihormetica luckae's bioluminescent patterns are nearly identical to the poisonous click beetle, with which it shares (or shared) its habitat.

Submission + - Entire Pig Genome Sequenced in Breakthrough That Could Combat Human Disease (

An anonymous reader writes: Scientists announced Wednesday that they have mapped the entire genome of the domestic pig, revealing that besides providing tasty bacon and sausages, the animal may also be useful in fighting human diseases.
The study published in the journal Nature found that pigs and humans share 112 DNA mutations that have previously been linked to diseases like obesity, diabetes, dyslexia, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, according to US and European researchers.
Researchers said that because pigs share many of the same complex genetic diseases as humans, the animals would serve as excellent models for studying the underlying biology of human disease.


Submission + - Hacker Grabs 150k Adobe User Accounts via SQL Injection (

CowboyRobot writes: "Adobe today confirmed that one of its databases has been breached by a hacker and that it had temporarily taken offline the affected website. The hacker, who also goes by Adam Hima, told Dark Reading that the server he attacked was the Web server, and that he exploited a SQL injection flaw to execute the attack. "It was an SQL Injection vulnerability, somehow I was able to dump the database in less requests than normal people do," he says. Users passwords for the Adobe Connectusers site were stored and hashed with MD5, he says, which made them "easy to crack" with freely available tools. And Adobe wasn't using WAFs on the servers, he notes. Tal Beery, a security researcher at Imperva, analyzed the data dump in the Connectusers Pastebin post and found that the list appears to be valid and that the hacked database was relatively old."
Internet Explorer

Submission + - IE 10 almost finished for Windows 7 with final preview ( 1

Billly Gates writes: IE 10 just hit the final preview yesterday for Windows 7. Windows XP and Windows Vista support has been dropped. Most slashdotters have a complex relationship with Internet Explorer. Many of us are hating it, while some of us are writting websites for it, or supporting it in an office setting. Microsoft has tried last year to make IE good again with release IE 9 which had some fanfare on slashdot, such as hardware acceleration and better standards compliancy, while MS even launched a full campaign to get us to switch.. IE 10 is supposed to continue the new process and promises to be much faster and support much more HTML 5 and CSS 3 and W3C HTML 5.1 and CSS 3.1 with a score of 320 on HTML5test. As a comparison, last years IE 9 only scored 138. The download is available here. Perhaps a few webdevelopers could care to comment if MS is really changing up its game since IE 6? It also appears that MS is rapidly releasing its browser on an annual schedule as well. What are the reactions of IT departments since IE 9 is now going to be an obsolete browser already?

Submission + - Google Lunar X Prize teams now in a race with China as well as each other (

MarkWhittington writes: "The Google Lunar X Prize rules of competition has a clause that reduces the $20 million grand prize to $15 million for the first private group to land a rover on the lunar surface should a government funded rover land first. The first scheduled government funded rover to land on the moon is the Chinese Chang’e 3. It is slated for a 2013 landing."

Submission + - CyanogenMod Domain Stolen (

An anonymous reader writes: The team behind CyanogenMod, one of the most popular community-driven, Android-based operating systems for phones and tablets, has announced that they're moving to after their .com domain was held ransom by a community member. He had been in control of the .com domain name for some time, but the team found out he was impersonating Cyanogen to make deals with community sites. When they removed his access to other parts of the CM infrastructure, he demanded $10,000 to relinquish control of the domain and threatened to change the DNS entries. When they refused to pay, he went through with it. The team is now disputing control of the domain with ICANN. They said, 'We will continue to be open about the what, when, how, but unfortunately, we may never know the "why" – though greed comes to mind. The team itself has not made a profit off of CM and that is not our goal. But to have one of our own betray the community like this is beyond our comprehension.'

Submission + - Visualizing 100,000 Stars in Chrome (

An anonymous reader writes: Google has rolled out a new web experiment for Chrome. This one is a visualization of the locations of over 100,000 nearby stars. It pulls data from astrometric databases and catalogs to show accurate relative locations of the stars. You can zoom and pan around the cluster, zoom all the way in to the solar system, or zoom all the way out to see how even this huge number of stars is dwarfed by the rest of the Milky Way. It also has data on a number individual stars in our stellar neighborhood. This web app works best in Chrome (much like their previous one, Jam With Chrome), but I was able to try it in Firefox as well.
Red Hat Software

Submission + - Red Hat Developer Demands Competitor's Source Code (

sfcrazy writes: A very serious argument erupted on the Linux kernel mailing list when Andy Grover, a Red Hat SCSI target engineer, requested that Nicholas A. Bellinger, the Linux SCSI target maintainer, provide proof of non-infringment of the GPL. Nick is developer at Rising Tide Systems, a Red Hat competitor, and a maker of advanced SCSI storage systems. Nick's company recently produced a groundbreaking technology involving advanced SCSI commands which will give Rising Tide Systems a lead in producing SCSI storage systems. Now, RTS is blocking Red Hat for getting access to that code as its proprietary. What's uncertain is whether RTS' code is covered by GPL or not — if it is then Red Hat has all the rights to get access to it and it's a serious GPL violation.