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Submission + - Major Facebook Security Hole Discovered 2

adeelarshad82 writes: A major security hole in Facebook has been discovered. Ironically, the source of this vulnerability is Facebook's own much-vaunted security "improvements." A video shows how you can view pending friend requests and chat history for any of your friends. Facebook Chat is down at the moment (coincidence? probably not). Unfortunately this isn't the only security hole in Facebook, another one was recently discovered which lets you retrieve the full name and Facebook URL for any account holder, given nothing but the Facebook ID number.

Submission + - More Professors Ban Laptops in the Lecture Hall 1

Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that professors have banned laptops from their classrooms at George Washington University, American University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia, among many others compelling students to take notes the way their parents did: on paper. "This is like putting on every student's desk, when you walk into class, five different magazines, several television shows, some shopping opportunities and a phone, and saying, 'Look, if your mind wanders, feel free to pick any of these up and go with it,' " says David Cole at Georgetown Law who was among the first professors in the Washington region to ban laptops for most of his students. A generation ago, academia embraced the laptop as the most welcome classroom innovation since the ballpoint pen but during the past decade, it has evolved into a powerful distraction as wireless Internet connections tempt students away from note-typing to e-mail, blogs, YouTube videos, sports scores, even online gaming — all the diversions of a home computer beamed into the classroom to compete with the professor for the student's attention. Even when used as glorified typewriters, laptops can turn students into witless stenographers, typing a lecture verbatim without listening or understanding. "The breaking point for me was when I asked a student to comment on an issue, and he said, 'Wait a minute, I want to open my computer,' " says David Goldfrank, a Georgetown history professor. "And I told him, 'I don't want to know what's in your computer. I want to know what's in your head.' " Not all students agree with the ban. "The fact that some students misuse technology is no reason to ban it," writes Leslie Gehring in the student newspaper at the University of Denver. "After all, how many professors ban pens and notebooks after noticing students doodling in the margins?""

Submission + - US Gamers Spend $3.8 Billion on MMOs Yearly (gamesindustry.com)

eldavojohn writes: A new report from Games Industry indicates that gamers in the United States paid $3.8 billion last year with an analysis of five European countries bringing the total close to $4.5 billion USD for the whole study. In America, the report estimated that boxed content or client download payment amounted to a measly four hundred million while the subscriptions came to $2.38 billion. Hopefully that will fund some developer budgets for bigger and better MMOs yet to come. Surely MMOs are shaping up to be a juicy industry and market for games aimed to satisfy people of all walks of life.

Submission + - SPAM: Barbie gets a new job as an IT engineer

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes: Well, well. Look who's become a nerd? Toy maker Mattel has given Barbie, an iconic fashion doll since 1959, a new career, this time as a computer engineer. For the first time, the company took an online vote, asking people to select the Barbie doll's 125th career by choosing between architect, computer engineer, environmentalist, news anchor or surgeon. And voters chose the high-tech job.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - France on the verge of Internet censorship (computerworlduk.com)

superapecommando writes: French lawmakers voted Tuesday to approve a draft law to filter Internet traffic, a measure the government says is intended to catch child pornographers. The bill will now go on for a second and final reading.
Critics of the catch-all "Bill on direction and planning for the performance of domestic security" say that filtering won't stop the spread of child pornography, but could allow the government to censor other materials.


Submission + - Programmers Just Don't Learn To Handle Their Ego (techsociotech.com)

Linux Ate My Dog! writes: For better or for worse, the web has transitioned from a system made by software engineers joined by a neglected user interface pro tinkering with page layouts, to one where teams of coders, Interaction Designers, and Graphic Designers work together to create rich interactive experiences. I have transitioned with it, from the software cubicles to the Digital Agency, and working with Graphic Designers I noticed something interesting: they handle critiques of their design much better than programmers do of their code, and I think it is because of what they go through during their training. During crunch time nobody cares what code looks like internally, just that it passes acceptance tests, so we get very ego-invested in how save the world from missing our deadline. While there are strategies to handle ego-investment, and pair-programming does force us to review the internals of code and architecture more these days, is there actual planned systematic review of your code? How do you handle criticism and praise for your lines?

Submission + - Google and NSA teaming up (washingtonpost.com) 1

i_frame writes: The Washington Post reports that "Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google — and its users — from future attack."

Submission + - Google Refuses to Remove Offensive Image (pcpro.co.uk)

eldavojohn writes: A ridiculously tasteless image of the First Lady of the United States is the first result when one searches for images of her on the popular search engine Google. The image depicts her face morphed into a chimpanzee. Above that (where you'd normally see a Google Ad) is a link to a prepared statement indicating results can be offensive and they will not de-index the image.

Submission + - Wal-Mart, Amazon Battle for Online Retail's Future 1

Hugh Pickens writes: "The NY Times reports that Amazon and Wal-Mart are waging an price war for the future of online retailing that is spreading through product areas like books, movies, toys and electronics. The tussle began last month over which company had the lowest prices on the most anticipated new books and DVDs this fall but has now spread to select video game consoles, mobile phones, even to the humble Easy-Bake Oven. “It’s not about the prices of books and movies anymore. There is a bigger battle being fought,” said Fiona Dias, executive vice president at GSI Commerce, which manages the Web sites of large retailers. “The price-sniping by Wal-Mart is part of a greater strategic plan. They are just not going to cede their business to Amazon.” Wal-Mart, with $405 billion in sales last year, dominates by offering affordable prices to Middle America in its 4,000 stores while Amazon with $20 billion in sales, caters mostly to affluent urbanites who would rather click with their mouse than push around a cart. But Amazon is expanding its slice of the retail pie at an alarming rate with Amazon sales shooting up 28 percent in the third quarter of this year while sales in Amazon’s electronics and general merchandise business are up 44 percent. “We have to put our foot down and refuse to let them grow more powerful,” says Dias. “I applaud Wal-Mart. It’s about time multichannel retailers stood up and refused to let their business go away.”"

Submission + - A High-Res 3D Video of the Embryonic Heartbeat (technologyreview.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers at the University of Houston, TX, adapted an imaging technique called optical coherence tomography to capture at 3D video of the mammalian heart as it forms. They used the method to image a mouse embryo just 8.5 days past conception and about a day after it starts to form. In the remarkable video a normal heartbeat is visible. Normally optical coherence tomography is used for clinical imaging of the retina. Having such a high-resolution, non-invasive way to image the developing heart could perhaps help doctors treat congenital heart disorders in human babies.

Submission + - Iranian Government Cuts off Internet Access Again (reddit.com) 1

AlbionTourgee writes: "It is reported that Gmail and Yahoo mail at least have been blocked in Iran, along with many English-language sites. While news of demonstrations seems to be getting out of the country, the government appears to be trying to prevent people within Iran from communicating and from learning what's happening. It remains to be seen whether TOR and Freenets can be effective to combat this sort of effort to block communications, and whether the general circulation of information about the protests around the world will help."

Submission + - Liposuction leftovers make easy stem cells: study (reuters.com)

uuddlrlrab writes: WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Fat sucked out of chunky thighs or flabby bellies might provide an easy source of stem cells made using new and promising technology, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday. They found immature fat cells in the material removed during liposuction were easy to transform into cells called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells. They were easier to work with than the skin cells usually used to make iPS cells, the team at Stanford University's School of Medicine in California reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. IPS cells are made using genes that take them back in time to a more immature and pliable state. They can then be re-directed to form heart cells, bone cells, brain cells or any other type of desired cell. "These cells are not as far along on the differentiation pathway, so they're easier to back up to an earlier state," Ning Sun, who led the study, said in a statement. "They are more embryonic-like than fibroblasts, which take more effort to reprogram." Stem cells are the body's master cell and embryonic stem cells are the most malleable, morphing into any cell type. IPS cells look very much the same, and teams are trying to make stocks of these cells to use in research and, eventually, to treat disease. "Not only can we start with a lot of cells, we can reprogram them much more efficiently," said Dr. Joseph Wu, who worked on the study. "Fibroblasts, or skin cells, must be grown in the lab for three weeks or more before they can be reprogrammed. But these stem cells from fat are ready to go right away." (Editing by Phil Stewart)

Submission + - Teenager Invents Cheap Solar Panel From Human Hair (dailymail.co.uk) 1

Renoise writes: "Milan Karki, 18, who comes from a village in rural Nepal, believes he has found the solution to the developing world's energy needs. A solar panel made from human hair. The hair replaces silicon, a pricey component typically used in solar panels, and means the panels can be produced at a low cost for those with no access to power. The solar panel, which produces 9 V (18 W) of energy, costs around $38 US (£23) to make from raw materials. Gentlemen, start your beards. The future of hair farming is here!"

Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man -- who has no gills. -- Ambrose Bierce