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Submission + - Obama's promise to "Protect Whisleblowers" disappears from the web

An anonymous reader writes: The Obama administration's campaign site has been removed, a possible reason Sunlight Foundation comments may be that a statement from the Administration that outlined the protection of Whistleblowers, "Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government." when the exact opposite has occurred and Obama is threatening trade sanctions against countries who give Edward Snowden asylum.

Submission + - Google debating not doing bad vs innovation (

Dthief writes: Facial recognition has the potential to be the next privacy flashpoint. Google already uses the technology in its Picasa photo sharing service. This lets users tag some of the people in their photos and then searches through other albums to suggest other pictures in which the same faces appear.

However, Google has held back on launching the technology more broadly. It was not included, for example, in the Google Goggles product, launched last year. This allows people to search for something on the internet by taking a picture of it on a mobile phone.


Submission + - Painful Memories Can Be Erased During 6-hr Window

Hugh Pickens writes: "The ability to manipulate human memory has been the stuff of science fiction for decades but now BBC reports researchers have found that humans have a six-hour window of opportunity when fearful memories can potentially be erased during a "reconsolidation window" — a time-limited period when reliving a harrowing memory can be changed from bad to good. During the study, volunteers were wired to electrodes and given a shock each time they were shown a picture of differently colored squares to make them fearful of the image — which they did. The next day they were subjected to the same combination, to bring back the painful memory, before repeatedly being shown the picture alone. Researchers found that the fear could be banished, but only if the volunteer was first made to recall the fearful experience and, critically, made to recall it no longer than six hours before the "treatment" commenced. "Our research suggests that during the lifetime of a memory there are windows of opportunity where it becomes susceptible to become permanently changed," says Dr Daniela Schiller, from New York University. The window of time to do effective extinction training — not in the first few minutes after the reminder of the fear, but certainly within the first several hours — derives from earlier studies of rodents. If the training happens outside of this window, the brain creates two memory traces, and the fearful one is not overwritten, researchers argue: It still competes with any new counterpart, no matter how unthreatening. Researchers hope their work will ultimately help those with disorders like post-traumatic stress. However, the field is not without its critics, with some claiming that holding onto and reviewing bad memories helps us learn from our mistakes."

Epic Releases Free Version of Unreal Engine 217

anomnomnomymous writes "Just a week after Unity announced its engine is now available for free to indie users, Epic Games has revealed a free version of its popular Unreal Engine technology. Called the Unreal Development Kit (UDK), it is a free edition of UE3 that allows community, modder and indie users more access to the engine's features and is available for all. Epic said game developers, students, hobbyists, researchers, creators of 3D visualizations and simulations plus digital filmmakers can all take advantage of the UDK for non-commercial use. The UDK site also offers detailed product features, technical documentation, commercial licensing terms and support resources."

Submission + - Yahoo provided Iran with names of 200,000

rcamans writes: October 8th, 2009
"ZDnet's Richard Koman accuses Yahoo of having collaborated with the Iranian regime during the recent post-election protests. Koman says the online giant provided names and emails for some 200,000 Iranian Yahoo users to authorities so that those same authorities would "unban" Yahoo on the state-controlled internet. The blog post does not include a response by Yahoo to the allegations, but promises "to provide further proof as the story unfolds." Snip:
This is according to a post on the Iranian Students Solidarity (Farsi) blog. My sources indicate the information comes from a group of resisters who have infiltrated the administration and are leaking out important information. These sources say that Yahoo representatives met with Iranian Internet authorities after Google and Yahoo were shut down during the protests and agreed to provide the names of Yahoo subscribers who also have blogs in exchange for the government lifting the blocks on Yahoo." This quote from ZDNET @

Yahoo has not yet responded to these claims, and they are not substantiated. Can anyone out there help substantiate these?

Submission + - Henry Kissinger says burn 'em if you got 'em. ( 1

El Fantasmo writes: "My main point is, "Who decides who gets to have advanced technologies such as nuclear energy?" and "Why can't countries/governments just come out and say e.g., 'Hey, Iran, we just don't trust that you won't turn Israel into a sheet of green glass.' when they suspect the technology to be used to harm?"

An interview of Henry Kissinger by Greta van Susteren sparked this. Why is it OK for Henry Kissinger to tell Iran that they have no reason to pursue nuclear energy because they have plenty of natural gas and oil to burn? Who is the United States to forbid "environmentally friendly" energies? Yes, I understand that the precess for nuclear fuel enrichment and weapons grade are exactly the same and Iran isn't open about what's actually going on, but does that mean they can't have nuclear energy until they have nuclear weapons? Kissinger, apparently, doesn't even entertain the idea of an open and inspectable nuclear energy program. Are these the kinds of minds to which we should listen, respect and value? We don't let foreigners inspect our nuclear facilities because they think we're doing something fishy. Who/where are the companies providing all the specialized equipment, ore and/or yellow cake?

I don't think anyone has concrete answers, but I'm wondering how/if the /. community thinks "advanced technologies" should be leveraged or allocated from the "haves" to the "have nots." Please, don't focus too much on US, Iranian politics; it's just a current example."

Submission + - Is Windows 7 designed to spy on us? 11

freakxx writes: "An article on has invited some concerns about spying nature of Windows 7 in form of a comment. His claims seems to be quite genuine as he is asking others to confirm it by checking themselves. In his words:

What I did notice was that Windows 7 is the NSA's most comprehensive Spyware Platform to date.. Thats why Russia, France, China, Cuba and most other Countries are moving to Open Source for Security! Thats why Microsoft needs to scare you off of XP Thats why Outgoing Data is not blocked by default in the firewall Thats why antiviruses like AVG were rewritten to prevent you from blocking Internet access by programs on your computer like Firefox for example! (You no longer get popups from your firewall asking if you want firefox and other programs to connect to the Internet — they just connect without your OK) Thats why encryption programs rewritten for Vista and Windows 7 give you no indication of trouble yet trusted encryption programs give you warning that the contents of RAM are being copied to your hard drive ONLY after you open an encrypted disk and thereby compromising your encryption key which was located in RAM. Thats why Windows 7 runs to the Internet to find a solution to the problem listed above after rebooting from a bluescreen! To aquire your encryption keys! Download Drivecrypt 4.0 from 2cows if you doubt me and test it yourself. DC-4.0 Installs correctly without errors, creates an encrypted volume without errors and only Bluescreens AFTER your encryption key is in RAM and can be copied to your hard drive to be transferred accross the Internet the next time you have Net access! Thats why Windows 7 can send your wireless network encryption key accross the Internet as well as your disk encryption keys stated above. By transferring your wireless encryption key without your knowledge, local authorities can access your wireless network and access your encrypted data even after you disconnect from the Internet Thats why wireless networking hardware will soon be built into future netbooks and notebooks to prevent removal Thats why nobody is even covering these problems in the press but instead are removing my posts from over 50% of other sites on the Internet If they doubt me, they should at least investigate these problems, don't you think?

I think this is indeed something that should be checked by the Slashdot community to shed more light on legitimacy of the claim, because if it is true, it's a very big concern for everyone. The article is here and the comment is here. The user, who is making the claim, has his profile here. He is also claiming that his comments are getting regularly deleted on Internet by the admins."


According to Linus, Linux Is "Bloated" 639

mjasay writes "Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel, made a somewhat surprising comment at LinuxCon in Portland, Ore., on Monday: 'Linux is bloated.' While the open-source community has long pointed the finger at Microsoft's Windows as bloated, it appears that with success has come added heft, heft that makes Linux 'huge and scary now,' according to Torvalds." TuxRadar provides a small capsule of his remarks as well, as does The Register.

Video Surveillance System That Reasons Like a Human 143

An anonymous reader writes "BRS Labs has created a technology it calls Behavioral Analytics which uses cognitive reasoning, much like the human brain, to process visual data and to identify criminal and terroristic activities. Built on a framework of cognitive learning engines and computer vision, AISight, provides an automated and scalable surveillance solution that analyzes behavioral patterns, activities and scene content without the need for human training, setup, or programming."

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.