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+ - 170 Google Launches Service To Replace Web Ads With Subscriptions->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Everyone understands by now that ads fund most of the sites on the web. Other sites have put up paywalls or started subscription bonuses, to varying success. Google, one of the web's biggest ad providers, saw a problem with that: it's a huge pain to manage subscriptions for all the sites you visit — often more trouble than it's worth. Since so few people sign up, the subscription fees have to be pretty high. Now, Google has launched a service called Contributor to try to fix this situation.

The way Contributor works is it this: sites can sign up to participate (and sites like Imgur, The Onion, and ScienceDaily already have). Readers can then pay a fee of $1-3 per month to gain ad-free access to all participating sites. When the user visits one of the sites, instead of showing a Google ad, Google will just send a small chunk of that subscription to the website instead."

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+ - 146 Ask Slashdot: BSD on the Desktop

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "So for a variety of reasons (some related to recent events, some ongoing for a while) I've kinda soured on Linux and have been looking at giving BSD a shot on the desktop.

I've been a Gentoo user for many years and am reasonably comfortable diving into stuff, so I don't anticipate user friendliness being a show stopper. I suspect it's more likely something I currently do will have poor support in the BSD world.

I have of course been doing some reading and will probably just give it a try at some point regardless, but I was curious what experience and advice other slashdot users could share. There's been many bold comments on slashdot about moving away from Linux, so I suspect I'm not the only one asking these questions.

Use case wise, my list of must haves is:
- Minecraft, and probably more dubiously, FTB
- mplayer or equivalent (very much prefer mplayer as it's what I've used forever)
- VirtualBox or something equivilant
- Firefox (like mplayer, it's just what I've always used, and while I would consider alternatives would definitely be a negative)
- Flash (I hate it, but browsing the web sans-flash is still a pain)
- OpenRA (this is the one I anticipate giving me the most trouble, but playing it is somewhat of an obsession)

Stuff that would be nice but I can live without:
- Full disk encryption
- Openbox / XFCE (It's what I use now and would like to keep using, but I could probably switch to something else without too much grief)
- jackd/rakarrack or something equivalent (currently use my computer as a cheap guitar amp/effects stack)
- Qt (toolkit of choice for my own stuff)"

+ - 203 Researchers discover ancient massive landslide-> 1

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "For decades, geologists have noted the signs of ancient landslides in southwestern Utah. Although many parts of the landscape don’t look that odd at first glance, certain layers include jumbled masses of fractured rock sandwiched among thick veins of lava, ash, and mud. Now, new fieldwork suggests that many of those ancient debris flows are the result of one of Earth’s largest known landslides, which covered an area nearly 39 times the size of Manhattan."
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+ - 188 Republicans Block Latest Attempt at Curbing NSA Power 2

Submitted by Robotron23
Robotron23 (832528) writes "The latest attempt at NSA reform has been prevented from passage in the Senate by a margin of 58 to 42. Introduced as a means to stop the NSA collecting bulk phone and e-mail records on a daily basis, the USA Freedom Act has been considered a practical route to curtailment of perceived overreach by security services,18 months since Edward Snowden went public. Opponents to the bill said it as needless, as Wall Street Journal raised the possibility of terrorists such as ISIS running amok on U.S. soil. Supporting the bill meanwhile were the technology giants Google and Microsoft. Prior to this vote, the bill had already been stripped of privacy protections in aid of gaining White House support. A provision to extend the controversial USA Patriot Act to 2017 was also appended by the House of Representatives."

+ - 247 Debian Votes not to Mandate Non-systemd Compatibility

Submitted by paskie
paskie (539112) writes "Voting on a Debian General Resolution that would require packagers to maintain support even for systems not running systemd ended tonight with the resolution failing to gather enough support.

This means that some Debian packages could require users to run systemd on their systems in theory — however, in practice Debian still works fine without systemd (even with e.g. GNOME) and this will certainly stay the case at least for the next stable release Jessie.

However, the controversial GR proposed late in the development cycle opened many wounds in the community, prompting some prominent developers to resign or leave altogether, stirring strong emotions — not due to adoption of systemd per se, but because of the emotional burn-out and shortcomings in the decision processes apparent in the wake of the systemd controversy.

Nevertheless, work on the next stable release is well underway and some developers are already trying to mend the community and soothe the wounds."

+ - 154 How Facebook Is Shaping Who Will Win The Next Election->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "That leaves Facebook in a peculiar and unenviable position – no matter what its intentions are, even minor decisions will have political impacts.

Every product change it makes leads to a set of winners and losers, and often these have their own unintended effects. A small alteration in deciding what types of stories get promoted, or what types of behaviors are highlighted, could potentially sway the outcome of an election somewhere. There is nothing it can do to make every side happy, and even doing nothing is a decision that has its own consequences."

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+ - 209 Fish tagged for research become lunch for gray seals->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When scientists slap an acoustic tag on a fish, they may be inadvertently helping seals find their next meal. The tags, rods a few centimeters long that give off a ping that can be detected from up to a kilometer away, are often used to follow fish for studies on their migration, hunting, or survival rates. Researchers working with 10 gray seals (Halichoerus grypus) who were captive for a year have now reported that the animals—including the female seal pictured above, named Janice—can learn to associate the pings with food. If the findings hold true in the wild, the authors warn, they could skew the results of studies trying to analyze fish survival rates or predation."
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+ - 176 Nokia's N1 Android tablet is actually a Foxconn tablet-> 1

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Nokia surprised everyone when it announced the N1 Android tablet during the Slush conference in Finland, today. There is a twist in the story though: This is not a Nokia device.

Nokia doesn’t have a device unit anymore: it sold its Devices and Services business to Microsof, in 2013. N1 is made by Chinese contract manufacturing company Foxconn, which also manufactures the iPhone and the iPad.

But Nokia’s relationship with Foxconn is different from Apple’s. You buy iDevices from Apple, not Foxconn; you call Apple for support, not Foxconn. You never deal with Foxconn.

In the case of N1, Nokia will be nowhere in the picture. Foxconn will be handling the sales, distribution and customer care for the device. Nokia is licensing the brand, the industrial design, Z Launcher software layer and IP on a running royalty basis to Foxconn."

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+ - 171 Elusive dark matter may be detected with GPS satellites->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Two researchers say time disparities identified through the network of satellites that make up our modern GPS infrastructure can help detect dark matter. In a paper in the online version of the scientific journal Nature Physics, they write that dark matter may be organized as a large gas-like collection of topological defects, or energy cracks. “We propose to detect the defects, the dark matter, as they sweep through us with a network of sensitive atomic clocks. The idea is, where the clocks go out of synchronization, we would know that dark matter, the topological defect, has passed by.""
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+ - 156 NYT: Privacy Concerns for ClassDojo, Other Tracking Apps for Schoolchildren

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "The NY Times' Natasha Singer files a report on popular and controversial behavior tracking app ClassDojo, which teachers use to keep a running tally of each student’s score, award virtual badges for obedience, and to communicate with parents about their child’s progress. “I like it because you get rewarded for your good behavior — like a dog does when it gets a treat," was one third grader's testimonial. Some parents, teachers and privacy law scholars say ClassDojo (investors) — along with other unproven technologies that record sensitive information about students — is being adopted without sufficiently considering the ramifications for data privacy and fairness. "ClassDojo," writes Singer, "does not seek explicit parental consent for teachers to log detailed information about a child’s conduct. Although the app’s terms of service state that teachers who sign up guarantee that their schools have authorized them to do so, many teachers can download ClassDojo, and other free apps, without vetting by school supervisors. Neither the New York City nor Los Angeles school districts, for example, keep track of teachers independently using apps." A high school teacher interviewed for the article confessed to having not read ClassDojo’s policies on handling student data, saying: "I’m one of those people who, when the terms of service are 18 pages, I just click agree." And, if all this doesn't make you parents just a tad nervous, check out this response to the "Has anyone ran a data analysis on their CD data?" question posed to the Class Dojo Community: "I needed to analyze data in regards to a student being placed on ADHD medicine to see whether or not he made any improvements. I have also used it to determine any behavioral changes depending on if a student was with mom/dad for a custody review. I use dojo consistently, so I LOVE getting to use the data to evaluate and share with parents, or even administrators.""

+ - 213 Player-Run MMORPG by Former Ultima Online Devs Finding Kickstarter Success 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Shards Online has returned to Kickstarter with a refocused plan and a promise to match pledges dollar for dollar up to their goal. With just a week gone by they have already reached 75% of their goal. Project Lead Derek Brinkmann says "If Ultima Online and Neverwinter Nights had a love child, Shards Online would be the result. By combining the persistent virtual world of Ultima Online with the freedom of community run servers and the ability to act as a dungeonmaster in Neverwinter Nights, we are creating a paradise for roleplayers where you are no longer constrained by the rules handed to you by the development team." The team now has their sights set on their stretch goals like more animations for roleplayers and an extra game world to be released at Alpha."

+ - 187 Laser Creates Quantum Whirlpool->

Submitted by Quantus347
Quantus347 (1220456) writes "Physicists at The Australian National Univ. (ANU) have engineered a spiral laser beam and used it to create a whirlpool of hybrid light-matter particles called polaritons. Polaritons are hybrid particles that have properties of both matter and light. The ability to control polariton flows in this way could aid the development of completely novel technology to link conventional electronics with new laser- and fiber-based technologies. Polaritons form in semiconductors when laser light interacts with electrons and holes (positively charged vacancies) so strongly that it is no longer possible to distinguish light from matter."
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+ - 164 Launching 2015: a new Certificate Authority to Encrypt the Entire Web->

Submitted by Peter Eckersley
Peter Eckersley (66542) writes "Today EFF, Mozilla, Cisco and Akamai announced a forthcoming project called Let's Encrypt. Let's Encrypt will be a certificate authority that issues free certificates to any website, using automated protocols (demo video here). Launching in summer 2015, we believe this will be the missing piece that deprecates the woefully insecure HTTP protocol in favor of HTTPS."
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+ - 171 US Marshals auctioning $20M worth of Silk Road's Bitcoins ->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "The US Marshals office this week said it would auction off almost 50,000 or about $20 million worth of alleged Silk Road creator Robert Ulbricht’s Bitcoins. The auction, which is the second sale of Silk Road’s Bitcoin collection, will take place during a 6-hour period on Dec. 4 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. EST. Bids will be accepted by email from pre-registered bidders only, the US Marshall’s office stated. In June a more than $17 million in Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road take-down was auctioned off."
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The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich