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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Ask Slashdot: Can the government use photos of me on their websites?->

Submitted by Andurin
Andurin (653272) writes "Hey photo folks: I'm pretty clear on my rights and responsibilities as a photographer, but I was wondering about non-civilian (or even non-person actors) and publicity rights. I know that most commercial ventures would require an image release before using my likeness for their website. But what about the government? If a federally-employed photographer takes my picture in a public space, can they post it to their agency's site? Or to a government Flickr account, or Facebook even?"
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+ - Bill would require public information to be online->

Submitted by
Andurin writes "A bill that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last week would require all Executive Branch agencies to publish public information on the Internet in a timely fashion and in user-friendly formats. The Public Online Information Act would also establish an advisory committee to help craft Internet publication policies for the entire U.S. government, including Congress and the Supreme Court. Citizens would have a limited, private right of action to compel the government to release public information online, though common sense exceptions (similar to those for FOIA) would remain in place."
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Dying Man Shares Unseen Challenger Video 266

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-perspective-on-an-old-tragedy dept.
longacre writes "An amateur video of the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion has been made public for the first time. The Florida man who filmed it from his front yard on his new Betamax camcorder turned the tape over to an educational organization a week before he died this past December. The Space Exploration Archive has since published the video into the public domain in time for the 24th anniversary of the catastrophe. Despite being shot from about 70 miles from Cape Canaveral, the shuttle and the explosion can be seen quite clearly. It is unclear why he never shared the footage with NASA or the media. NASA officials say they were not aware of the video, but are interested in examining it now that it has been made available."

+ - 95% Of Email Is Spam->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The European Network and Information Security Agency released its new spam report which looks at spam budgets, impact of spam and spam management. Less than 5% of all email traffic is delivered to mailboxes. This means the main bulk of mails, 95%, is spam. This is a very minor change, from 6%, in earlier ENISA reports. Over 25% of respondents had spam accounting for >10% of helpdesk calls. The survey targeted email service providers of different types and sizes, and received replies from 100 respondents from 30 different countries."
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+ - UK's third largest paper blames games for rickets-> 1

Submitted by mr_sifter
mr_sifter (1000807) writes "This morning, Metro, the UK's third largest newspaper ran a front page story with a headline clearly blaming gaming for a rise in a serious disease. This feature takes a look at this wild claim, and what it has to say about the ways in which research and gaming are reported by the mainstream media."
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+ - Space Station Astronauts Gain Internet Access

Submitted by cyclone96
cyclone96 (129449) writes "Internet access on the International Space Station went live this morning. The crew now has full browsing capability via a special LAN and the Ku-band data link on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) network, as described in this NASA press release. Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer used the access to post to twitter. Previous astronaut twitter postings had been performed through a third party on the ground via email."

+ - TSA plays joke on traveller at screening -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As a 22 year old female student at the University of Michigan went through security at Philadelphia International Airport, a TSA worker was staring at her. He motioned her toward him. Then he pulled a small, clear plastic bag from her carry-on — the sort of baggie that a pair of earrings might come in. Inside the bag was fine, white powder. Answer truthfully, the TSA worker informed her, and everything will be OK. After 20 seconds of crying, the TSA agent waved the baggie. It was his, and it was all a joke. Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said this afternoon that the worker is no longer employed by the agency as of today. She said privacy laws prevented her from saying if he was fired or left on his own."
Link to Original Source

+ - Supreme Court rolls back campaign spending limits->

Submitted by lorenlal
lorenlal (164133) writes "The Supreme Court of the United States must have figured that restrictions on corporate support of candidates was a violation of free speech, or something like that.

By a 5-4 vote, the court on Thursday overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.


Link to Original Source

+ - Deforestation Unveils Lost Amazon Civilization->

Submitted by Deathsoldier11
Deathsoldier11 (1657455) writes ""Satellite flyovers of newly cleared land in the Amazon have uncovered a vanished civilization that could rival the Incans or Aztecs in sophistication.

Researchers found mysterious geometric trenches and other earthworks carved into the landscape as early as a decade ago, but satellites have paved the way for the discovery of over 200 giant structures.

Writing in the journal Antiquity, the researchers say the the formations stretch for some 250 kilometers (155 miles) across the upper Amazon basin east of the Andes mountains and appear to be of a similar style throughout, suggesting one vast, united civilization that could have totaled some 60,000 inhabitants.

Researchers also found stone tools, bits of ceramics, and other artifacts buried in mounds along the trenches. So far, the uncovered areas date to between 200 and 1283 A.D., but the team thinks they've seen "no more than a tenth" of the true extent of this archeological wonder.""

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+ - Treasury Dept. Restricts Data with EULA->

Submitted by
Andurin writes "The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed restrictions on the way Americans (and others) can use and analyze data developed about the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The "terms of use," which are subject to change at any time, require users to cite when writing about the data, and to state that the government doesn't vouch for the authenticity of the data once it's been downloaded. The Sunlight Foundation's policy counsel writes that the terms are similar to an EULA and are inconsistent with the Administration's recently announced Open Government Directive."
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+ - I wanna be a developer 1

Submitted by Madman
Madman (84403) writes "In my career as a network/security architect I've managed to develop some decent perl coding skills after having written everything from billing systems to network management tools to scripts that write custom excel reports, whatever was needed at the time. I'm enjoying the coding side of my work more and more and I'd like to learn a programming language that will allow me to shift my career into more of a developer type of role, but I'm not sure which one to go for. I don't want to spend a great deal of time learning a programming language only to realize just as I'm getting good that it's old and busted and I should have gone with the new hotness so I put it to the slashdot community: If I want to be able to write both web and mobile apps in a language that still is going to be used many years down the line what should I learn?"

US Supreme Court Skeptical of Business Method Patents 160

Posted by kdawson
from the feeling-bilski dept.
Trepidity writes "The US Supreme Court held oral argument Monday in Bilski, a business-methods patent case that might also have important implications for software patents (We have previously discussed the case several times). The tone of the argument appears to be good news, as the justices were very skeptical of the broad patentability claims. They even brought up a parade of absurd hypothetical patents quite similar to the ones Slashdotters tend to mention in these kinds of debates. Roberts surmised that 'buy low, sell high' might be a patentable business method, Sotomayor wondered if speed-dating could be patentable, Breyer questioned whether a professor could patent a lesson plan that kept his students from falling asleep, and Scalia brought up the old-time radio soap opera Lorenzo Jones, featuring a hare-brained inventor with delusions of getting rich." Patently O has good blow-by-blow coverage of the day's proceedings. Official argument transcripts will be up soon, they say.

+ - Google Announces Free WiFi in 47 Airports->

Submitted by damn_registrars
damn_registrars (1103043) writes "Google has announced their sponsorship of free WiFi in 47 Airports across the United States for the holiday season. Travelers tired of paying for internet access while waiting for their flight should be happy to find free wireless internet at several airports across the country."
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+ - Finalists Chosen In Apps for America 2 Contest->

Submitted by
Andurin writes "Sunlight Labs has announced three finalists for its Apps for America 2 competition. Forty-seven apps were submitted, each relying on and providing a useful spin on government data. This We Know compiles federal information on a local level; govpulse is a searchable version of the Federal Register; and DataMasher allows simple mashups of government data sets. Voting is now open to determine the winner in the $25,000 contest."
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