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Submission + - A Modest Proposal, re: Beta vs. Classic 19

unitron writes: Dice wants to make money off of what they paid for--the Slashdot name--, or rather they want to make more money off of it than they are making now, and they think the best way to do that is to turn it into SlashingtonPost.

They should take this site and give it a new name. Or get Malda to let them use "Chips & Dips".

Leave everything else intact, archives, user ID database, everything except the name.

Then use the Beta code and start a new site and give it the slashdot.org name, and they can have what they want without the embarrassment of having the current userbase escape from the basement or the attic and offend the sensibilities of the yuppies or hipsters or metrosexuals or whoever it is that they really want for an "audience".

Submission + - The 61 Countries Most Vulnerable To An Internet Shutdown (forbes.com)

Sparrowvsrevolution writes: In the wake of Syria’s 52-hour digital blackout last week, the networking firm Renesys performed an analysis of which countries are most susceptible to an Internet shutdown, based simply on how many distinct entities control the connections between the country’s networks and those of the outside world. It found that for 61 countries and territories, just one or two Internet service providers maintain all external connections–a situation that could make possible a quick cutoff from the world with a well-placed government order or physical attack.

Another 72 countries have between three and ten providers that link to the outside world, a situation that makes a cutoff harder but by no means impossible. Egypt managed to black out its Internet last year despite having seven ISPs with external connections, though it took several days for it to track down and cut off all seven.

Submission + - UK Governement mandate the teaching of evolution as scientific fact (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: There is a sotory on the BBC website that the Governement has put an extra clause in a funding bill to ensure that any new "free schools" (independant schools run by groups of parents or organisations but publically funded) must teach evolution rather than creationism or potentially lose their funding

The new rules state that from 2013, all free schools in England must teach evolution as a "comprehensive and coherent scientific theory".

The move follows scientists's concerns that free schools run by creationists might avoid teaching evolution.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said it was "delighted".

Sir Paul told BBC News the previous rules on free schools and the teaching of evolution versus creationism had been "not tight enough".


Submission + - PC rental companies spied on customers in their homes (tgdaily.com)

SternisheFan writes: "Seven rent-to-own companies and a software developer have settled federal charges that they spied on customers, including watching them having sex. The companies captured screenshots of confidential and personal information, logged keystrokes and took webcam pictures of people in their homes. Their aim was to track the computers belonging to customers who were behind with their payments.
    "An agreement to rent a computer doesn’t give a company license to access consumers’ private emails, bank account information, and medical records, or, even worse, webcam photos of people in the privacy of their own homes," says FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz. "The FTC orders today will put an end to their cyber spying." Developer DesignerWare produced the software that was used to gather the information, PC Rental Agent. The package included a 'kill switch' designed to disable a computer of it was stolen, or if payments weren't made. However, an add-on program called Detective Mode could log key strokes, capture screen shots and take photographs using a computer’s webcam, says the FTC in its complaint."

Submission + - Galaxy Tabs don't infringe Apple design patents, German court backtracks (computerworlduk.com)

Qedward writes: Apple could be on the verge of losing the bans on sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab it has won in German courts. If the Düsseldorf lower regional court were to rule now, Samsung would be unlikely to be found infringing on Apple's design rights, which would overturn earlier rulings that halted sales of Galaxy tablets, a court spokesman said yesterday.

Apple is after a permanent sales ban on the Galaxy 7.7, 8.9, 10.1, 10.1N and 10.1V in Germany because it claims Samsung infringes on its design rights, said Andreas Vitek, spokesman for the lower regional court of Düsseldorf. But during a hearing Judge Johanna Brückner-Hofmann said that if she had to review the case now, Samsung would not be likely to be found infringing Apple's rights, Vitek said.

Submission + - Toys R Us sued over Tabeo tablet (bbc.com)

another random user writes: The Toys R Us chain is being sued in the US over allegations it stole one of its former partners' trade secrets to develop its own tablet computer.

Fuhu — the Los Angeles based creator of the Nabi tablet — claims the toy chain copied the design, user-experience and online services of its device.

Toys R Us used to have exclusive rights to sell Fuhu's machine in the US, but this deal has since lapsed.

Fuhu is part-owned by the Taiwanese computer-maker Acer, the gadget manufacturer Foxconn and the memory chip producer Kingston.


Submission + - Myspace Is Back (Again) (bbc.com) 1

another random user writes: MySpace has showcased its new look with a preview video ahead of its forthcoming relaunch.

New owners Specific Media are revamping the social network in collaboration with Justin Timberlake after acquiring it from Newscorp for $35 million two years ago.

The new look centres around a horizontal layout similar to Pinterest, with a navigation panel for controlling audio content. Photo albums can be paired with playlists and integration with rival networks Facebook and Twitter has been incorporated.


Submission + - Research Shows Half of All Androids Contain Known Vulnerabilities (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: About half of all Android phones contain at least one vulnerability that could be used to take control of the device, according to new research. Duo Security, which launched a free vulnerability scanning app for Android this summer, said their preliminary data from users shows a huge number of the devices are vulnerable to at least one of the known Android flaws.

The X-Ray app from Duo scans Android devices for a set of known vulnerabilities in a variety of the Android releases. Many of them are flaws that attackers have used in the last few months. The main issue with Android security and patches is that each carrier is responsible for pushing out new versions of the operating system to its users and they all do it on random timelines. There's no set interval for updates and users don't have to upgrade, so there's a good chance that many users are running older, vulnerable versions of Android at any given time.


Submission + - Google Extends Patent Search to Prior Art - I wonder why? (i-programmer.info)

mikejuk writes: As well as buying up patents to defend itself against the coming Apple attack on Android, Google is also readying its own technology. It has extended its Patent Search facility to include European patents and has added a Prior Art facility.
The new Prior Art facility seems to be valuable both to inventors and to the legal profession. In order to be granted a patent the inventor has to establish that it is a novel idea — and in the current litigious environment companies and their lawyers might want to show that patents should not have been granted. My guess is that this is one Google facility that won't be closing any time soon as one of its main users is likely to be Google.


Submission + - Gamma-Ray Photon Observations Indicate Space-Time is Smooth (space.com)

eldavojohn writes: Seven billion light years away seven billion years ago, a gamma-ray burst occurred. The observation of four Fermi-detected gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) has led physicists to speculate that space-time is indeed smooth (a prepublication PDF can be found here). Three such photons were observed to arrive very close together and the observers believe that these are from the same burst which means that there was nothing diffracting their paths from the gamma-ray burst to Earth. This observation doesn't prove that space-time is infinitesimally smooth like Einstein predicted but does give a nod that it is for a range of parameters. Before we can totally discount the theory that space-time is comprised of Planck-scale pixels, we must now establish that the proposed pixels don't disrupt the photons in ways independent of their wavelengths. For example, this observation did not disprove the possibility that the pixels exert a subtler "quadratic" influence over the photons nor could it determine the presence of birefringence — an effect that depends on the polarization of the light particles.

Submission + - The Case Against DNA

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "Thanks to fast-paced television crime shows such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, we have come to regard DNA evidence as uncontestable. But BBC reports that David Butler has every right to be cynical about the use of DNA evidence by the police. Butler spent eight months in prison, on remand, facing murder charges after his DNA was allegedly found on the victim. ""I think in the current climate [DNA] has made police lazy," says Butler. "It doesn't matter how many times someone like me writes to them, imploring they look at the evidence... they put every hope they had in the DNA result."" The police had accused Butler of murdering a woman, Anne Marie Foy, in 2005 — his DNA sample was on record after he had willingly given it to them as part of an investigation into a burglary at his mother's home some years earlier. But Butler has a rare skin condition, which means he sheds flakes of skin, leaving behind much larger traces of DNA than the average person and Butler worked as a taxi driver, and so it was possible for his DNA to be transferred from his taxi via money or another person, onto the murder victim. The case eventually went to trial and Butler was acquitted after CCTV evidence allegedly placing Butler in the area where the murder took place was disproved. Professor Allan Jamieson, head of the Glasgow-based Forensic Institute, has become a familiar thorn in the side of prosecutors seeking to rely on DNA evidence and has appeared as an expert witness for the defense in several important DNA-centered trials, most notably that of Sean Hoey, who was cleared of carrying out the 1998 Omagh bombing which killed 29 people. Jamieson’s main concern about the growing use of DNA in court cases is that a number of important factors -human error, contamination, simple accident — can suggest guilt where there is none. “Does anyone realize how easy it is to leave a couple of cells of your DNA somewhere?” says Jamieson. “You could shake my hand and I could put that hand down hundreds of miles away and leave your cells behind. In many cases, the question is not ‘Is it my DNA?’, but ‘How did it get there?’”"
United Kingdom

Submission + - BBC Keeps Android Flash Alive In The UK (techweekeurope.co.uk)

judgecorp writes: "Although Adobe wants to can mobile Flash, the Android Flash app has returned to the Google Play store in the UK after disappearing earlier this month. It has come back because of pressure from large organisations, in particular the BBC, whose popular iPlayer video on demand service uses Flash. The Android app is back, apparently or as long as it takes the BBC to move to HTML5"

Submission + - DNA analysis shows ancient humans interbred with Denisovans (nature.com)

ananyo writes: Tens of thousands of years ago modern humans crossed paths with the group of hominins known as the Neandertals. Researchers now think they also met another, less-known group called the Denisovans. The only trace that we have found, however, is a single finger bone and two teeth, but those fragments have been enough to cradle wisps of Denisovan DNA across thousands of years inside a Siberian cave. Now a team of scientists has been able to reconstruct their entire genome from these meager fragments. The analysis supports the idea that Neandertals and Denisovans were more closely related to one another than either was to modern humans and also suggests new ways that early humans may have spread across the globe.

Submission + - Drinking Too Much? Blame Your Glass (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Before you down that pint, check the shape of your glass—you might be drinking more beer than you realize. According to a new study of British beer drinkers, an optical illusion caused by the shape of a curved glass can dramatically increase the speed at which we swill. The researchers recruited 160 Brits, and asked them to watch a nature documentary while they drank beer from straight or curved glasses. The group drinking a full glass of lager out of curved flute glasses drank significantly faster than the other group--possibly because the curved glasses impaired their ability to pace themselves while drinking.

Submission + - Is your iOS application data protected? (github.com) 1

pteufl writes: "A recent slashdot article discusses the security of the iOS encryption systems. While the first system encrypts the whole file system and is used for fast remote wiping, the second system (Data protection) allows the encryption of application files with keys that are derived from the user's passcode and an AES key that is stored on a chip. This system makes brute-force attacks on a good passcode infeasible.

The decision whether this data protection classes are used for application files is made by the application developer. Unfortunately, the user (or administrator) is not able to see which protection classes an installed application uses.

This leads to the following scenario: An iOS-device protected with a secure passcode receives sensitive PDFs via the standard mail app (which uses adequate protection classes). The user opens these files in an external application (e.g. a PDF reader), which stores the files without data protection. In this case, an attacker does not need to carry out the infeasible brute-force attack on the passcode to access the data within the mail application. He only needs to apply a jailbreak to gain access to the file system and thus, to the unprotected files of the PDF reader application.

In order to allow the user/administrator to find out which protection classes are used by application files, we have created a simple java tool that extracts the protection classes from an existing iTunes backup. This information plays an important role in deciding whether an application should be used within a deployment scenario where security is considered to be important."

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.