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Idle

+ - 208 Can a court order you to delete a facebook account?-> 4

Submitted by jaymz666
jaymz666 (34050) writes "Can a court really order you to delete a Facebook account?
When Asher initially appeared in court after the July 20 accident, the judge told her to delete her Facebook account, Kittinger said. Asher did not take it seriously, and was charged with contempt of court when the judge learned her Facebook page was still active.

Seems like a big over reach."

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Education

+ - 193 Ask Slashdot: Where should a geek's charitable donations go? 5

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I'm in the position to direct (or at least suggest the direction of) a fairly large amount of charitable donation on behalf of a foundation interested in promoting education. As a lifelong geek, I'd like to see some of this money directed toward organizations involved in things geeks like (e.g. spreading technology in education to those without it, improving the use of technology for those who have it, etc.). If it was up to you, what charitable organizations would you support and why?"
Programming

+ - 169 Designers Criticize Apple's User Interface for OS X and iOS

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Austin Carr writes that a number of user interface designers have become increasingly critical of Apple’s approach to software user interface design with much of their censure directed against a trend called skeuomorphism, a term for when objects retain ornamental elements of past that are no longer necessary to the current objects’ functions such as calendars with faux leather-stitching, bookshelves with wood veneers, fake glass and paper and brushed chrome. "It’s visual masturbation," says one former senior UI designer at Apple who worked closely with Steve Jobs. "It’s like the designers are flexing their muscles to show you how good of a visual rendering they can do of a physical object. Who cares?" The issue is two-fold: first, that traditional visual metaphors no longer translate to modern users; and second, that excessive digital imitation of real-world objects creates confusion among users. "I’m old enough, sure, but some of the guys in my office have never seen a Rolodex in real life," says Designer Gadi Amit. "Our culture has changed. We don’t need translation of the digital medium in mechanical real-life terms. It’s an old-fashioned paradigm." One beneficiary could be Microsoft where the design of Windows 8 distances itself from skeuomorphism emphasizing a flat user interface that’s minimalist to the core with icons without embellishments: no bevel, no 3-D flourishes, no glossiness and no drop shadow. "It’s Microsoft’s stripped-down UI that many find appealing," writes Carr, "a welcome alternative to Apple’s approach to software design.""
Science

+ - 140 Scientists say that prejudice can cause depression->

Submitted by keyblade5
keyblade5 (1819472) writes "It's commonly known that many people have depression that is caused by persistent, automatic negative thoughts about themselves (e.g., "I'm stupid," "I'm ugly"). Some scientists recently put out an article elaborating on how these cognitions in depression are the same type of neurocognitive structure as the automatic negative stereotypes studied by prejudice researchers. Like these depressive thoughts, most automatic or "implicit" prejudice is caused by persistent, automatic negative stereotypes (e.g., "That Black guy is a criminal,"). "This depression caused by prejudice – which the researchers call deprejudice — can occur at many levels. In the classic case, prejudice causes depression at the societal level (e.g., Nazis’ prejudice causing Jews’ depression), but this causal chain can also occur at the interpersonal level (e.g., an abuser’s prejudice causing an abusee’s depression), or even at the intrapersonal level, within a single person (e.g., a man’s prejudice against himself causing his depression)." By identifying and elaborating the common neurocognitive cause of these very different phenomena, the scientists reveal that the past century of research on depression can be used to improve interventions against prejudice, and depression researchers can harness decades of prejudice research to improve treatments for depression. This work is an amazing reminder of how, sometimes, we as scientists can get caught up in our terminology and not realize that we may use different words to describe exactly the same underlying process."
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Books

+ - 190 Amazon's Free Graphic Novel Could Become A Movie?->

Submitted by destinyland
destinyland (578448) writes "Amazon's just announced that they're giving away a free graphic novel — a supernatural "horror" comic set during the Civil War — that you can read online or with a Kindle app (or the Kindle Fire tablet). But it looks like Amazon's ultimate plan is to film it as their own movie. “If we made this comic into a full-budget feature film, would you go see it?” Amazon asks on the first page of the graphic novel. In the last two years, "Amazon Studios" pored through more than 10,000 possible movie screenplays, and ultimately settled on just 17 finalists (along with nine possible TV series), saying crowdsourcing convinced them to test this idea "for viability as a major motion picture.”"
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+ - 195 Patent Troll sues... uh... just about everyone-> 1

Submitted by zaba
zaba (746842) writes "A company named PersonalWeb Technologies has decided a host of heavy players in the tech industry, including Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft and Yahoo! for patents it holds related to data processing.

They have a previous suit against other big names like Amazon, Google and HP.

Anyone care to guess where the company is based or where the suits were filed?"

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Google

+ - 149 Author Silvia Hartmann Writing Novel in Public via Google Docs->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Are you familiar with the works of author Silvia Hartmann? No? Well, neither are we. Apparently she writes about magic, energies, and something called “EmoTrance“.

We don’t know much about mystical emo energy here at The Powerbase, but we do know about the virtues of developing things out in the open, which is just what Silvia is doing now with the “Naked Writer Project”. The entirety of her new book “The Dragon Lords” is being written in full view of the public through the collaborative functions of Google Docs."

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Open Source

+ - 227 Best Open Source Software of the Year->

Submitted by
snydeq
snydeq writes "InfoWorld has announced the winners of its sixth annual Best of Open Source Software Awards, including more than 100 worthy projects across seven categories, from desktop apps, to databases, to application development tools. 'We've taken it upon ourselves to plow through all that frenetic activity and dig up the juiciest, smartest, and most useful open source software available. If you'd just like to page through from beginning to end, start here. Stick around in this article and you'll get a tour of the important trends in open source this year.'"
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Games

+ - 140 BioWare Founders Announce Retirement->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "BioWare founders and doctors, Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk announced their retirement from the gaming company as well as the video game industry. In two separate blog posts, the founders who were awarded the 2011 Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame announced their decision and their future plans. Muzyka writes, "After nearly two decades in videogames, I’ve decided to move on to pursue an entirely different set of challenges." Zeschuk writes, "I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation.""
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Windows

+ - 162 Maybe with help from Google and Adobe, Microsoft can kill Windows XP->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle (2544914) writes "Google announced last Friday that, in accordance to its policy of supporting a current browser and the immediate predecessor, its Google Apps productivity suite would drop support for Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) once Windows 8 ships. Neither IE9 nor IE10 are available on XP. Adobe announced on the Photoshop Blog that the next version of Photoshop CS would support only Windows 7 and 8. The current version, CS6, is available for XP but, amusingly, not for Vista, which was its successor.

This is a much-needed boost for Microsoft, which anxiously wants to put XP out to pasture after 11 years. Despite efforts to get rid of the old OS, XP still holds 43% of the market, according to the latest monthly data from Net Applications. Among Steam customers, Windows 7 has 70% market share, covering both 32-bit and 64-bit, while XP has 12%.

That confirms what has been known for some time: consumers are adopting Windows 7 at a much faster rate than businesses. I know there is a whole economic argument to be had, and these numbers are not precise or scientific, but if XP really can be found in only 12% of households but 43% of businesses (or something close to that), then it really is time for the enterprise to stop dragging its tail."

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Science

+ - 168 A Step Forward for Fusion->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "In the high-stakes race to realize fusion energy, a smaller lab may be putting the squeeze on the big boys. Worldwide efforts to harness fusion for energy on Earth currently focus on two multibillion dollar facilities: the ITER fusion reactor in France and the National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California. But other, cheaper approaches exist—and one of them may have a chance to be the first to reach "break-even," a key milestone in which a process produces more energy than needed to trigger the fusion reaction. Researchers at the Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico are set to announce that their process, known as magnetized liner inertial fusion, has passed the first of three tests, putting it on track for an attempt at the coveted break-even. The team expects to take its first shot at fusion before the end of 2013."
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+ - 179 ASK SLASHDOT: Hearing Aids that directly connect to smart phones 2

Submitted by
mtcups
mtcups writes "I am a musician/IT guy whose hearing has suffered from VERY LOUD guitar players, (yes I do use earplugs now, but too late), and am faced with the outrageously priced hearing aids $4.5K+/pair and was appalled at their lack of integration with smart phones. It seems obvious to me that I should be able to control the hearing aids via a smart phone interface so I can shape the profile for different environments, and also control features like "hearing loops" and Bluetooth connections. I have done some research, but my guess is that the hearing aid companies want proprietary systems and don't want a smartphone interface since they would loose control and it would allow for competition for cheaper & better programs.
I am not convinced that a combination of good ear-buds, good microphone(s), and a smartphone interface couldn't totally replace these overpriced solutions.
Open source devices for the hearing impaired would be a boon, wouldn't you agree?"
Businesses

+ - 163 How Big Pharma Hooked America on Legal Heroin ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "The active ingredient in OxyContin, oxycodone, isn’t a new compound. It was originally synthesized in Germany in 1916. The patent on the medication had expired well before Purdue Pharma, a Stamford, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical company and the industry leader in pain medication, released it under the brand name in 1996. The genius of Purdue’s continued foray into pain-management medication – they had already produced versions of hydromorphone, oxycodone, fentanyl, codeine, and hydrocodone – was twofold. They not only created a drug from an already readily available compound, but they were able to essentially re-patent the active ingredient by introducing a time-release element. Prior to the 1990s, strong opioid medications were not routinely given for miscellaneous or chronic, moderately painful conditions; the strongest classes of drugs were often reserved for the dying. But Purdue parlayed their time-release system not only into the patent for OxyContin. They also went on a PR blitz, claiming their drug was unique because of the time-release element and implied that it was so difficult to abuse that the risk of addiction was “under 1%.”"
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Blackberry

+ - 176 RIM gets exFAT from Microsoft->

Submitted by Minion of Eris
Minion of Eris (1574569) writes "According to a press release found today on CrackBerry:

Microsoft Corp. announced today that Microsoft and Research In Motion (RIM) have signed a patent licensing agreement that gives RIM broad access to the latest Extended File Allocation Table (exFAT) for certain BlackBerry® devices of RIM. exFAT is a modern file system from Microsoft that facilitates large files for audiovisual media and enables seamless data portability and an easy interchange between desktop PCs and other electronic devices."

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Science

+ - 185 Graphite soaked in water may be a room-temperature superconductor->

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Researchers in Germany have claimed a breakthrough: a material that can act as a superconductor — transmit electricity with zero resistance — at room temperature and above. Superconductors offer huge potential energy savings, but until now have worked only at temperatures of lower than about -110 degrees centigrade.
Now, Pablo Esquinazi and his colleagues at the University of Leipzig report that flakes of humble graphite soaked in water seem to continue superconducting at temperatures of greater than 100 degrees centigrade. Even Esquinazi admits that the claim “sounds like science fiction”, but the work has been published in the peer-reviewed journal Advanced Materials (abstract) and physicists say that the results, although tentative, merit further scrutiny."

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Software

+ - 140 GEOINT developing a military and intelligence app store->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (GEOINT) is looking to bring new meaning to the now cliche saying “there’s an app for that” with its recent call for application developers and engineers to come and learn about the new GEOINT app store that is being developed .

Responsible for gathering and analyzing all of the geospatial intelligence for the US military and intelligence communities, GEOINT is looking to leverage modern mobile devices by offering secure applications that can be rapidly deployed to operating units in the field.

While you may have never heard of GEOINT before, it plays an important role in the military and intelligence operations of the US government. Not as public of an organization as DARPA is, GEOINT is responsible for giving as much information about a geographical region as possible before one of the aforementioned groups places people and other resources there. It also offers operational information during global events."

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Android

+ - 152 Programming a Wearable Android Device->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes "Dr. Dobb's reviews an alternative to Google Glass and goes through the steps of coding your own Android-based Heads-Up Display.
"By tucking their 428x240 pixel WQVGA heads-up display in the lower right corner of ski goggles, Recon has effectively created an unobtrusive HUD with a decent 600 MHz ARM Cortex A8 processor running Android 2.3.3 (Eclair). Network connections can be made via a Bluetooth-paired Android smartphone.""

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Businesses

+ - 181 Dice Holdings buys Slashdot and other Geeknet websites for $20M-> 3

Submitted by Angostura
Angostura (703910) writes "Dice Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it acquired Geeknet Inc.'s online media business, including its Slashdot and SourceForge websites, for $20 million in cash.
The New York-based careers website company said the acquisition of the technology websites is part of its strategy of providing content and services geared toward technology professionals."

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Software

+ - 191 Leaked Windows 8 tablet pricing suggests Microsoft may have already lost the war->

Submitted by
MrSeb
MrSeb writes "If, like me, you thought Microsoft would price Windows RT competitively, you were wrong: A leaked slide from Asus says that its Vivo Tab RT, due to be released alongside Windows RT at the end of October, will start at $600. Unbelievably, this is $100 more than the iPad 3, and a full $200 more than the iPad 2 or Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. For $600, you would expect some sensational hardware specs — but alas, that’s sadly not the case. The Vivo Tab RT has a low-res 10.1-inch 1366×768 IPS display, quad-core Tegra 3 SoC, 2GB of RAM, NFC, 8-megapixel camera and that’s about it. Like its Androidesque cousin, the Transformer, the Vivo Tab RT can be plugged into a keyboard/battery dock — but it’ll cost you another $200 for the pleasure. (Curiously, the Transformer’s docking station only costs $150 — go figure.) What could possibly be the reason for the Vivo Tab’s extortionate price tag? The Windows Tax, of course! Microsoft better have something other than a $100 Windows Tax up its sleeve if it wants to compete with the iPad and Android tablets..."
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Android

+ - 153 Motorola's first Intel-powered handset launches in UK->

Submitted by lookatmyhorse
lookatmyhorse (2566527) writes "As [ promised http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/01/11/1640224/intel-powered-smartphones-arriving-soon%5D Google's Motorola unit has released its first Intel-powered smartphone. The Razr i is based on a mid-range model sold in the US that features an ARM-based Snapdragon processor. Motorola said the change of chip meant improved camera performance. However, it has also meant Google's Chrome browser is not installed on the device. [Intel recently cut its sales forecasts citing weaker demand http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/7/3300061/intel-reduced-q3-earnings-forecast-windows-8%5D. Although it dominates PC chip sales it is a niche player in the [smart device sector. http://mobile.slashdot.org/story/12/06/15/1259244/why-intel-needs-smartphones-more-than-they-need-intel%5D The handset is Motorola's first to feature an Intel processor Its existing smartphone partners — ZTE, Lenovo, Lava, and Gigabyte — are all relatively minor smartphone forces in Western markets. So, Intel's tie-up with Google — which also makes the Android system — is widely seen as its most significant effort to crack the market to date. [ The handset will be offered in the UK, France, Germany and Latin America. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19635451%5D"
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News

+ - 225 Slashdot Gets Acquired as Part of $20 Million Deal-> 1

Submitted by wiredmikey
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Dice Holdings (Owner of Job sites including Dice.com) reported this morning that it has acquired Geeknet's online media business, including Slashdot and SourceForge.

"We are very pleased to find a new home for our media business, providing a platform for the sites and our media teams to thrive," said Ken Langone, Chairman of Geeknet. "With this transaction completed, we will now focus our full attention on growing ThinkGeek."

Dice Holdings acquired the business for $20 million in cash. In 2011, the online media properties generated $20 million in Revenues."

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News

+ - 168 Judge preserves privacy of climate scientist's emails-> 1

Submitted by
ananyo
ananyo writes "Climate scientist Michael Mann reported Monday that he and the University of Virginia in Charlottesville have prevailed in a court case against the conservative American Tradition Institute (ATI), which had sought access to emails he wrote while serving as a professor at the school from 1999-2005.
Now at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Mann says the ruling supports the University of Virginia’s argument than an exemption to the state’s freedom-of-information law “applies to faculty communications in furtherance of their work”. The Prince William County Circuit Court ruling came directly from the bench in and was not immediately available online.
The Virgina Supreme Court tossed out a case against Mann in March. The state's conservative attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, had, among other things, demanded access to the climatologist's emails, arguing that Mann might have manipulated data and thus defrauded the government in applying for scientific grants."

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Google

+ - 298 Google Bans Online Anonymity While Patenting It

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "'It's important to use your common name,' Google explains in its Google+ ground rules, 'so that the people you want to connect with can find you.' Using a 'secondary online identity,' the search giant adds, is a big Google+ no-no. 'There are lots of places where you can be anonymous online,' Betanews' Joe Wilcox notes. 'Google+ isn't one of them.' Got it. But if online anonymity is so evil, then what's the deal with Google's newly-awarded patent for Social Computing Personas for Protecting Identity in Online Social Interactions? 'When users reveal their identities on the internet,' Google explained to the USPTO in its patent application, 'it leaves them more vulnerable to stalking, identity theft and harassment.' So what's Google's solution? Providing anonymity to social networking users via an 'alter ego' and/or 'anonymous identity.' So does Google now believe that there's a genuine 'risk of disclosing a user's real identity'? Or is this just a case of Google's left hand not knowing what its right hand is patenting?"
Your Rights Online

+ - 159 Traveling the Silk Road: a comprehensive measurement analysis->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes ""a comprehensive measurement analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather and analyze data over eight months between the end of 2011 and 2012, including daily crawls of the marketplace for nearly six months in 2012. We obtain a detailed picture of the type of goods being sold on Silk Road, and of the revenues made both by sellers and Silk Road operators. Through examining over 24,400 separate items sold on the site, we show that Silk Road is overwhelmingly used as a market for controlled substances and narcotics. A relatively small "core" of about 60 sellers has been present throughout our measurement interval, while the majority of sellers leaves (or goes "underground") within a couple of weeks of their first appearance. We evaluate the total revenue made by all sellers to approximately USD 1.9 million per month; this corresponds to about USD 143,000 per month in commissions perceived by the Silk Road operators. We further show that the marketplace has been operating steadily, with daily sales and number of sellers overall increasing over the past few months. We discuss economic and policy implications of our analysis and results, including ethical considerations for future research in this area.""
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Power

+ - 284 Fusion power breakthrough near at Sandia labs?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An achievement that would have extraordinary energy and defense implications might be near at Sandia National Laboratories. The lab is testing a concept called MagLIF (Magnetized Liner Inertial Fusion), which uses magnetic fields and laser pre-heating in the quest for energetic fusion. A paper recently published by Sandia researchers state that the Z-pinch driven MagLIF fusion could reach "high-gain" fusion conditions, where the fusion energy released greatly exceeds (by more than 1,000 times) the energy supplied to the fuel."
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