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Submission + - Every weapon, armored truck, and plane the Pentagon gave to local police (

v3rgEz writes: You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You probably have not heard about some of the more obscure beneficiaries of the Pentagon giveaway, but now you can after MuckRock got the Department of Defense to release the full database, letting anyone browse what gear their local department has received.

Submission + - Poland attempts to recall photos leaked online from US, Germany and Russia (

gale the simple writes: "In a way indicating clear misconceptions about the way the internet works, Radoslaw Sikorski, foreign relations minister in Poland is attempting to recall gruesome photos of 2010 Smolensk crash and subsequent autopsies.
  Not surprisingly, Russia and Ukraine obliged in an attempt to block the offending photos on their respective territories. Polish authorities made similar attempts.
  Fortunately, those were thwarted simply because Germany and the US refused to cooperate citing freedom of speech and internal laws.
  Full disclosure, since I am running a blog dedicated to Smolensk crash I follow it closely and, obviously, I have the offending photos. Not surprisingly, traffic immediately increased, most of it from Poland. People do not like being told what they can see.
  Radoslaw Sikorski is about to learn first hand what slashdot effect is all about."

Submission + - COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum (

An anonymous reader writes: "COINTELPRO Techniques for dilution, misdirection and control of a internet forum..

There are several techniques for the control and manipulation of a internet forum no matter what, or who is on it. We will go over each technique and demonstrate that only a minimal number of operatives can be used to eventually and effectively gain a control of a 'uncontrolled forum."

The Internet

Submission + - The web "will last 500 years" (

Barence writes: Web pages written today will still be readable in 500 years, according to Opera's chief technology officer Hakon Wium Lie. At an Opera event in Oslo, that firm's CTO and so-called "father of CSS" noted his former colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee predicted over a decade ago that HTML4 — the current web standard — would still be readable in 200 years. "I’m going to up him," said Wium Lie. "This is going to last 500 years. That’s not a random number, it’s very convenient number, as none of us are going to be around and you can’t come back and say hey, you were wrong." Wium Lee believes only the preservation of open web standards will preserve the web for future generations. "In order to make sure it is still legible, we need to make sure we use the standards and we agree on them, and that no single company can dominate here," he said.

Submission + - software reveals what your nose says about you (

Arvisp writes: Supersleuths have found a highly successful way of tracking down terrorists, illegal immigrants, fraudsters and identity thieves: by scanning their noses.
The technology uses computer software, called the PhotoFace, to analyse the nose then put it in one of six categories.
‘Noses are prominent facial features,’ says Dr Adrian Evans, one of the researchers involved in a study at the University of Bath. ‘They are easier to photograph and are harder to conceal, so a system that recognises noses would work better with an uncooperative subject or for covert surveillance.’
Experts believe the distinctive shape of your conk reveals fascinating facts about your personality.

Submission + - "Brain Activity" Found in a Dead Salmon Demonstrat (

AthanasiusKircher writes: "Neuroscientist Craig Bennett used a dead salmon in his Dartmouth lab as a test object while they were evaluating new lab methods. The lab even followed proper experimental protocols, including showing the salmon photos of humans displaying various emotions. They were somewhat surprised by the results:

When they got around to analyzing the voxel (think: 3-D or 'volumetric' pixel) data, the voxels representing the area where the salmon's tiny brain sat showed evidence of activity. In the fMRI scan, it looked like the dead salmon was actually thinking about the pictures it had been shown.

Of course, the salmon wasn't actually responding to pictures illustrating human emotions. But the data manipulation commonly used in brain studies caused apparently significant patterns to appear by chance. More from the Wired article: 'The result is completely nuts — but that's actually exactly the point. Bennett, who is now a post-doc at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his adviser, George Wolford, wrote up the work as a warning about the dangers of false positives in fMRI data. They wanted to call attention to ways the field could improve its statistical methods."

The study demonstrates the potential for misinterpretation and misuse of data in brain studies, particularly as data manipulation becomes more and more complex. Bennett notes: 'We could set our threshold [of significance] so high that we have no false positives, but we have no legitimate results.... We could also set it so low that we end up getting voxels in the fish's brain. It's the fine line that we walk.'

So far the paper has been rejected for publication a number of times, but there is a poster available that was employed in a conference presentation. Recently it has been making the rounds informally in the neuroscience community."


Submission + - PS3 plagued by similar problems to the XBox 360s i (

Xest writes: More and more reports are appearing of Playstation 3 consoles failing in a similar way that the earlier models of the XBox 360 did, except for Sony, it's the Yellow Light of Dead. The BBC has an interesting article, which suggests the problem could be almost identical to that which caused the earlier XBox 360 models to fail — poor soldering connections. From the article:

"Several of those businesses have told Watchdog that the vast majority of consoles they see with the "yellow light of death" can be repaired by heating up specific parts of the circuit board. This process is called solder re-flow. By heating the connections between the components and the circuit board to temperatures in excess of 200 Celsius, the metal solder joints melt, just like they did when the device was first assembled. Console repairers say that this process method is commonly used to repair fractured connections, or dry joints."

But it's not the only rule from Microsoft's playbook on the issue that Sony have been following, whilst they have admitted 12,500 out of 2.5million (a convenient 0.5%) of systems have failed, they refuse to release full figures of failure rates citing them as being commercially sensitive. Unfortunately one rule Sony does not appear to be following Microsoft on is an extended warranty, stating that if it fails after 12 months, it is not their problem. In the UK however at least, the Sale of Goods act would disagree with that statement.


Submission + - Moore's Law Reaching Statute Of Limitations (

Michael_Curator writes: "It turns out that Gordon Moore never predicted that processing power would continue to double every two years. What former Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel co-founder Moore wrote for Electronics Magazine in 1965 was that the costs of electronic components will be sufficiently depressed by demand to allow vendors to stuff more and more processing power onto a single chip. This has taken on a legendary status in the industry, an almost self-fulfilling false prophesy that has driven vendors to introduce ever-more-powerful devices to the market. But we have reached a point where the cost of making tools required to keep making smaller and smaller components has finally outstripped the ability of vendors to sell them profitably. Hence, R.I.P. Moore's Law."

Submission + - Social Networking Sites Must Improve Security (

An anonymous reader writes: Sophos has called upon social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook to do more to protect their millions of users, as new research is published examining the first six months of cybercrime in 2009. The report reveals that IT teams are worried that employees share too much personal information via social networking sites, putting their corporate infrastructure — and the sensitive data stored on it — at risk. The findings also indicate that a quarter of organizations have been exposed to spam, phishing or malware attacks via sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace.

Submission + - Blogs cannot be controlled all the time: Google (

Anonymous Coward writes: "Google India, the Indian subsidiary of US-based software giant, today contended before the Bombay High Court that unlike the publishers in print media, the blogging service, which facilitates publication of a blog, cannot control what is being posted all the time. They argued that it does not control the publication of content on blog-hosting website 'Blogger' (owned by Google Inc), and is not liable for the same."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - John Hodgman asks Obama: Are You a Nerd?

Hugh Pickens writes: "Watch a video of comedian John Hodgman speak after Barack Obama at the recent Radio and Television Correspondents Association dinner in DC and discuss the central question of our age: "how we can heal the great and shameful division that has plagued our nation for so long — the age old conflict between jocks and nerds" and ask Obama: Are you now, or have you ever been, a nerd?"

Submission + - Congress to ban VOIP on airplanes

Ececheira writes: The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee has taken Representative Peter A. DeFazio's (OR) bill from the last Congress (HR.5788) and inserted it as a section into the FAA Re-authorization Act of 2009 (HR.915) in this Congress, that if enacted into law, would permanently ban all inflight voice communication services and prevent passengers from using their own mobile devices to send and receive calls. The proposed provision (Section 423) would permanently ban aircraft passenger voice communications service using a mobile or wireless device and would deny passengers the convenience and choice of connectivity that consumers in other countries enjoy today.

Ocean Currents Proposed As Cause of Magnetic Field 333

pjt33 notes a recently published paper proposing that ocean currents could account for Earth's magnetic field. The wrteup appears on the Institute of Physics site; the IOP is co-owner, with the German Physical Society, of the open-access journal in which the paper appears. This reader adds, "The currently predominant theory is that the cause of Earth's magnetic field is molten iron flowing in the outer core. There is at present no direct evidence for either theory." "Professor Gregory Ryskin from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University in Illinois, US, has defied the long-standing convention by applying equations from magnetohydrodynamics to our oceans' salt water (which conducts electricity) and found that the long-term changes (the secular variation) in the Earth's main magnetic field are possibly induced by our oceans' circulation."

Microsoft's Free AV App May Be a Non-Starter 251

CWmike writes "Microsoft is preparing to launch a public beta of Morro, the free anti-malware it announced last November, according to reports. Morro will use the same scanning engine as Windows Live OneCare, the software that the free software will replace and Microsoft's first consumer-grade antivirus package. OneCare is to get the boot as of June 30 (along with finance app Microsoft Money). John Pescatore, an analyst at Gartner, has questioned whether users would step up to Morro even if it was free. 'Consumers are hesitant to pay for a Microsoft security product that will remove problems in other Microsoft products,' he said. 'Think of it this way. What if you smelled a rotten egg odor in your water and the water company said, "Sure, we can remove that, but it will cost you $50." Would you buy it?' Not surprisingly, competitors have dismissed Morro's threat to their business. 'We like our chances,' Todd Gebhart, vice president in charge of McAfee's consumer line, said when it was announced OneCare was a goner. 'Consumers have already rejected OneCare,' added Rowan Trollope, senior vice president of consumer software at Symantec. 'Making that same substandard security technology free won't change that equation.'"

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten