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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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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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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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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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The Internet

+ - 162 The Information Age: North Korean Style-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "It seems cell phones and the internet have come to the reclusive nation of North Korea — albeit in a manor that you might not expect. North Korea now sports over 1 million cell phones, although calls are not allowed outside of the country, text messages come daily from North Korean authorities sporting government propaganda. The internet is not the global internet of Twitter and Facebook, but a government crafted intranet that is restricted to just a tiny percentage of the population. The intranet is restricted to elites in North Korea with good standing. The intranet uses message boards, chat functions, and state sponsored messages; its use has also been encouraged among universities, technical professionals and scientists, and others to exchange info. An even smaller fraction can access the outside internet. All of this seems to be an effort to control the information revolution without loosing authority."
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Power

+ - 191 Germany exports more power than ever despite phasing out nuclear enegery->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The german magazine "Der Spiegel" writes, that "the current export from Germany reached a record high this year — despite nuclear phase. Reason is the boom in green energy." Especially in the Netherlands power-plants are shut down because "electricity imported from Germany is cheaper." Is Germany an example of forward looking energy policy after all?"
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Your Rights Online

+ - 182 Staff emails are not owned by firms, UK judge rules->

Submitted by Qedward
Qedward (2499046) writes "A high court judge has ruled that companies do not have a general claim of ownership of the content contained in staff emails.

The decision creates a potential legal minefield for the terms of staff contracts and an administrative nightmare for IT teams running email servers, back up and storage.

The judge ruled businesses do not have an "enforceable proprietary claim" to staff email content unless that content can be considered to be confidential information belonging to a business, unless business copyright applies to the content, or unless the business has a contractual right of ownership over the content.

Ruling in the case involving Fairstar Heavy Transport and its former chief executive, Justice Edwards-Stewart said: "I can find no practical basis for holding that there should be property in the content of an email, even if I thought that it was otherwise open to me to do so.

"To the extent that people require protection against the misuse of information contained in emails, in my judgment satisfactory protection is provided under English law either by the equitable jurisdiction to which I have referred in relation to confidential information (or by contract, where there is one) or, where applicable, the law of copyright.

"There are no compelling practical reasons that support the existence of a proprietary right — indeed, practical considerations militate against it."

Justice Edwards-Stuart added it was "quite impractical and unrealistic" to determine that ownership of the content of emails either belongs exclusively to the creator or the recipient of an email."

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Apple

+ - 188 Judge to review whether foreman in Apple v. Samsung hid info->

Submitted by thomst
thomst (1640045) writes "Cnet's Greg Sandoval is reporting that Lucy Koh the Federal judge in the Apple v. Samsung patent infringement case is reviewing whether jury foreman Velvin Hogan failed to disclose his own patent suit v. Seagate during the jury selection process. Samsung, which lost the suit filed by Apple has complained that Hogan's failure to disclose his own status as a former patent case plaintiff constituted misconduct serious enough to invalidate the jury's verdict in the case."
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Power

+ - 170 Pee-Powered Generator Unveiled at Maker Faire Africa-> 1

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "Four Nigerian girls aged between 14 and 15 have unveiled their creation – a urine-powered generator that is capable of generating six hours of electricity using a liter of pee. Showcased at the fourth annual Maker Faire Africa in Lagos, Nigeria, the generator is an eco-friendly power source that generates electricity by separating hydrogen present in the excreted bodily fluids with an electrolytic cell. The design is more or less crude as of now and if enough attention and funding are made available, chances are that this pee-powered generator may very well be available at your local hardware store."
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Medicine

+ - 146 Methamphetamine vaccine shows promise->

Submitted by cylonlover
cylonlover (1921924) writes "Methamphetamine is one of the most addictive and thus commonly-used street drugs – according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, there are currently nearly 25 million meth addicts worldwide. Help may be on the way, however. Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have had success in using a methamphetamine vaccine to block the effects on meth on lab rats. The vaccine works by allowing the body’s immune system to attack methamphetamine molecules in the bloodstream, keeping them from entering the nervous system. This keeps the meth from affecting the user’s brain, and thus removes the incentive for using the drug."
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Google

+ - 198 Google Patents Guilt-By-Association

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "Guilt by association is defined as the attribution of guilt (without proof) to individuals because the people they associate with are guilty. It's also at the heart of U.S. Patent No. 8,306,922, which was awarded to Google on Tuesday for Detecting Content on a Social Network Using Links, the invention of three Googlers. In its patent application, Google argues that if an individual posts content to social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. 'that is illegal (e.g., content violating copyright law, content violating penal statutes, etc.), inappropriate for minors (e.g., pornography, "R" or "NC-17" rated videos, adult content, etc.), in contravention of an end user licensing agreement (EULA), etc.', then their friends 'may be likely to post content to their profile pages related to similar topics.' Google further explains: 'For instance, a first user and a second user that are designated as friends on a social network may be friends based upon a set of common interests (e.g., the first user and the second user are both interested in tennis). If the first user adds content to its profile page that is related to sports, then the friendship (link) between the first user and the second user can indicate that the profile page of the second user is likely to contain content related to sports as well.' By extension, the same holds true for porn, pirated videos and music, etc., right? So, would you feel comfortable being judged by the online company you keep?"

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