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Submission + - Facebook removes activist groups pages (guardian.co.uk)

jira writes: According to The Guardian Facebook in the last 12 hour removed dozens of politically linked Facebook accounts.

Most notable among them "those for the anti cuts group UK Uncut, and pages that were created by students during last December's university occupations."

Submission + - bitcoin: a force to be reckoned with? (washingtonpost.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer digital currency, is being regarded by establishment press with much suspicion, confusion and, most recently, fear. A good example is a recent opinion piece by the Washington Post. As is typical, bitcoin's unique characteristics (scarcity, resilience, unforgeability), which make it useful as a currency, are not discussed. Rather, it is dismissed as a "private electronic currency." Besides incorrectly classifying bitcoin as "private," the author overlooks one crucial point: the "first to market" advantage that bitcoin's existing blockchain possesses. Are these pieces by the media the same sort of flailing that we witnessed with RIAA and MPAA? Confusion, to be followed by demonization, to be followed by legislation?

Submission + - Malware Silently Hijacks Facebook Account (net-security.org)

Orome1 writes: Several months ago, when the operators of the Sality P2P botnet pushed out malware that not only collected usernames and passwords and sends them to the C&C servers but also dumped Facebook, Blogger and MySpace login credentials into an encrypted file on the infected computer, Symantec researchers speculated about the purpose these files would serve. Their best guess was that these credentials will be of use to some yet unrevealed piece of malware, and the theory has proven to be correct over the weekend, when Sality — a virus whose primary reason of being is to download and execute other malware — downloaded a new piece of malware that fished out that file and the credentials in it.
Data Storage

Submission + - Intel, Micron jointly release 20nm flash memory (pcper.com) 1

Vigile writes: "Not too long ago, Intel announced the transition to 25nm flash and even though we are just now seeing the fruits of that technology shift, the beat moves on. Intel and Micron jointly announced a new 20nm flash technology today that "can net a 50% gain in GB capacity per wafer." Of concern is the life span of flash memory that gets lower each process reduction though Intel claims "similar performance and endurance as the previous generation 25nm flash memory"."

How Demigod's Networking Problems Were Fixed 65

The launch of Demigod was troubled by piracy and networking difficulties, which publisher Stardock worked quickly to correct. They've now released a documentary that gives a detailed look behind the scenes of diagnosing and fixing those problems. It includes meetings, interviews with the devs, and part of the bug-tracking process during a frenzied 108-hour work week.

Ray Kurzweil's Vision of the Singularity, In Movie Form 366

destinyland writes "AI researcher Ben Goertzel peeks at the new Ray Kurzweil movie (Transcendent Man), and gives it 'two nano-enhanced cyberthumbs way, way up!' But in an exchange with Kurzweil after the screening, Goertzel debates the post-human future, asking whether individuality can survive in a machine-augmented brain. The documentary covers radical futurism, but also includes alternate viewpoints. 'Would I build these machines, if I knew there was a strong chance they would destroy humanity?' asks evolvable hardware researcher Hugo de Garis. His answer? 'Yeah.'" Note, the movie is about Kurzweil and futurism, not by Kurzweil. Update: 05/06 20:57 GMT by T : Note, Singularity Hub has a review up, too.

Work Progresses On 10,000 Year Clock 307

KindMind writes "CNet has pictures of a planned 10,000 year clock to be built in eastern Nevada by the Long Now Foundation. From the article: 'Running under its own power, the clock is an experiment in art, science, and engineering. The six dials on the face of this machine will represent the year, century, horizons, sun position, lunar phase, and the stars of the night sky over a 10,000-year period. Likely to span multiple generations and evolutions in culture, the thinking and design put into the monument makes it a moving sculpture as beautiful as it is complex.' This was reviewed on Slashdot in 2005. Really cool pictures, including one of a mechanical 'binary computer' that converts the pendulum into positions on the dial."

Powerful Sonar Causes Deafness In Dolphins 323

Hugh Pickens writes "Mass strandings of dolphins and whales could be caused because the animals are rendered temporarily deaf by military sonar, experiments have shown. Tests on a captive dolphin have demonstrated that hearing can be lost for up to 40 minutes on exposure to sonar and may explain several strandings of dolphins and whales in the past decade. Most strandings are still thought to be natural events, but the tests strengthen fears that exercises by naval vessels equipped with sonar are responsible for at least some of them. For example, in the Bahamas in March, 2000, 16 Cuvier's beaked whales and Blainville's beaked whales and a spotted dolphin beached during a US navy exercise in which sonar was used intensively for 16 hours (PDF). 'The big question is what causes them to strand,' says Dr. Aran Mooney, of the University of Hawaii. 'What we are looking at are animals whose primary sense is hearing, like ours is seeing. Their ears are the most sensitive organ they have.' In the experiment, scientists fitted a harmless suction cup to the dolphin's head, with a sensor attached that monitored the animal's brainwaves, and when the pings reached 203 decibels and were repeated, the neurological data showed the mammal had become deaf, for its brain no longer responded to sound. 'We definitely showed that there are physiological and some behavioral effects [from repeated, loud sonar], but to extrapolate that into the wild, we don't really know,' said Mooney."

Honda Develops Brain Interface For Robot Control 88

narramissic writes "Honda has released a video of experiments showing a person wearing a large hemispheric scanner on his head and controlling Honda's Asimo robot by visualizing movement. Back in 2006, Honda and ATR researchers managed to get a robotic hand to move by analyzing brain activity using a large MRI scanner. This latest work uses EEG to measure the electrical activity in a person's brain and blood flow within the brain using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to produce data that is then interpreted into control information. While both the EEG and NIRS techniques are established, the analyzing process for the data is new. Honda said the system uses statistical processing of the complex information to distinguish brain activities with high precision without any physical motion."

California May Reduce Carbon Emissions By Banning Black Cars Screenshot-sm 685

Legislation may by 2016 restrict the paint color options for California residents looking for a new car. Black and all dark hues are currently on the banned list. The California Air Resources Board says that the climate control systems of dark-colored cars need to work harder than their lighter siblings — especially after sitting in the sun for a few hours.

What Filters Are Right For Kids? 678

WaywardGeek writes "My daughter is using phrases like 'hot guys,' and soon will have a chat about the birds and the bees. I believe in letting kids discover the world as it is, and have no Internet controls on any of our systems, which are mostly Linux based. However, it's not fair for aggressive porn advertisers to splash sex in her face without her permission. My question is: What Linux-based Internet filtering solution do Slashdot dads favor, and do they hinder a child's efforts to learn about the world?"

An Interview With the Developers of FFmpeg 80

An anonymous reader writes "Following the long-awaited release of FFmpeg 0.5, Phoronix has conducted an interview with three FFmpeg developers (Diego Biurrun, Baptiste Coudurier, and Robert Swain) about this project's recent release. In this interview they talk about moving to a 3/6-month release cycle, the criteria for version 1.0, Blu-Ray support on Linux, OpenCL and GPGPU acceleration, multi-threading FFmpeg, video APIs, their own video codecs, and legal challenges they have run into."

Higgs Territory Continues To Shrink 118

PhysicsDavid writes "Announced this morning by Fermilab, the possible territory for the Higgs boson has shrunk even further. Combined results from the CDF and DZero experiments at the Tevatron have ruled out the existence of the Higgs with a mass between 160 and 170 GeV/c^2 with 95% confidence. At 90% confidence the Higgs is ruled out between about 157 and 185 GeV/c^2. Here is Fermilab's press release. If the Higgs is to be found at the lighter end of the currently allowed range of 114 GeV/c^2 to 185 GeV/c^2, its detection will be harder than at the heavier end due to the kinds of signals that the Large Hadron Collider and the Tevatron will see. Some physicists think that a lighter Higgs will be easier to spot at the Tevatron as the background processes which obscure the faint signal are not as prevalent in those experiments."
Social Networks

Is It Worth Developing Good Games For the Web? 82

SlashSlasher writes "A friend of mine started up a Facebook MMORTG game called Realm of Empires with his buddies as a personal project. Over the last couple of years, I've seen it grow up from an idea into a thriving community. A lot of money and effort has been sunk into constant improvement. As a result, it has become one of the most polished and substantial applications I've seen on Facebook. It's been quite interesting seeing the action behind the scenes without being directly entangled. Normal gameplay is free but certain premium features do exist. Recently, after allowing an open beta of premium features, the users complained vehemently that they would have to pay to keep these special features. They went so far as to start a petition to stop them from charging for premium features. People are getting up in arms about features that can be bought for less than $3 a month. I know the project hasn't broken even yet, and more money is put into it every day. I had always assumed that developers would receive a chunk of the ad revenue they attract to Facebook; apparently I was wrong. Facebook only gives the developer a very small (and shrinking) piece of real estate to try and make money with. How are these people supposed to break even, let alone profit? What working business models exist for the small game developer? Are people just too spoiled by free, throw-away games to be a target market for anything significant? Are developers who want to make any money for their work forced to move to restrictive platforms like the iPhone or the console market? More details of their story are available at their blog."

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.