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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 71 declined, 31 accepted (102 total, 30.39% accepted)

+ - Orson Scott Card's Views on Gay Marriage Fuel "Ender's Game" Movie Boycott

Submitted by circletimessquare
circletimessquare (444983) writes "The New York Times has the story:

Mr. Card was issuing a public plea for tolerance of his views — “with the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot,” he noted in a statement to the Entertainment Weekly Web site — in response to a planned boycott that had burst into prominence only the day before, when The Huffington Post published an article about a Web site called Skipendersgame.com.

"
Security

+ - 82 Year Old Pacifist Nun Breaches Oak Ridge Nuclear Reservation Security->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "If ineffective security theater at airports bothers you, then do not read about the 82 year old anti-nuclear activist nun who last month successfully committed the worst security breach ever at the most sensitive nuclear weaponization facility in the USA. 'With flashlights and bolt cutters, the three pacifists defied barbed wire as well as armed guards, video cameras and motion sensors at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation in Tennessee early on July 28, a Saturday. They splashed blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility — a new windowless, half-billion-dollar plant encircled by enormous guard towers — and hung banners outside its walls.' This is not the kind of security lapse you ever want to hear about no matter what you think of the nun's beliefs."
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+ - Pay-by-Voice could leap frog Pay-by-Smartphone->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "While the world waits for a smartphone wallet, that idea might have already been made quaint by the company called Square that bought us the little Credit Card swiper that attaches to your iPhone audio jack: pay by just announcing your voice. 'You walk into a shop or cafe. The cashier knows that you’re on the premises, because your name and thumbnail photo appear on his iPad screen. He rings up your items by tapping them on the iPad. And now the magic moment: To pay, you just say your name. The cashier compares your actual face with the photo on the iPad’s screen, taps O.K., and the transaction is complete. No cash, no cards, no signatures — you don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket.' A number of hacks seem apparent. David Pogue's New York Times article also summarizes nicely the state of play in novel electronic payment methods."
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+ - France Shuts Down The Minitel On June 30->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "While most of the world was discovering the Internet in the early 1990s, France was discovering it in the early 1980s. It was a commercial failure outside France due to an inflexible business strategy, but within France, the Minitel was a cultural touchstone. 'Most of the services no longer exist, but among the last functioning Minitel programs are the “messageries roses,” the “pink message services” that were the world’s first adult chat rooms. They were once advertised on billboards, condemned by conservative politicians and mentioned in pop songs, including Michel Polnareff’s plaintive 1989 ballad “Goodbye Marylou.” “When the screen lights up, I type on my keyboard all the voiceless words we say to one another with our fingers,” Mr. Polnareff sang, years before most anyone but the French was having cybersex.'"
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+ - The Dutch Repair Cafe Versus The Throwaway Society->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Everyone in the modern world has thrown away at least one thing that was perfectly good except for an easily fixed defect, because it's just easier to buy a new one. In the Netherlands, in the name of social cohesion, and with government and private foundation grants, there is a trend called the Repair Cafe (Dutch). People bring in broken items: a skirt with a hole in it, an iron that no longer steams, and they fix each other's stuff and meet their neighbors. Now that's an idea worth keeping."
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+ - The Hollywood Vixen, The Dadaist Composer, and Spr->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "In the New York Times Sunday Book Review section is one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction stories. This one is about Hedy Lamarr, the Hollywood star, and George Anthiel, the avant garde composer. A new book out by Richard Rhodes, “Hedy’s Folly,” details how this odd friendship produced an even odder product: sophisticated military munition designs during World War II, including an early original implementation of spread spectrum radio for torpedo guidance.

'Hedy’s folly may have been in assuming men in government might overcome their prejudice that a beautiful woman could not have brains and imagination. But she lived to see similar versions of her invention be put into common practice, and in 1997, Hedy Lamarr, at the age of 82, and George Antheil (posthumously) were honored with the Pioneer Award by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.'"

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The Internet

+ - Casey Anthony Prosecutor Avoids Cache Analysis Bug->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "A programmer of an Internet cache analysis tool found an error in his own tool, and alerted prosecutors in the Casey Anthony case. His tool inaccurately reported that Casey Anthony had searched for "chloroform" from her computer 84 times. Worried that a woman's life was at stake, he told the prosecution in the case that she had in fact only searched for chloroform once, and it led to a visit to only one site: sci-spot.com, which only talked about historical use of chloroform in the 1800s. The software developer was ignored by the prosecution, and the 84 visits number was cited throughout the failed prosecution of Casey Anthony."
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+ - xkcd Scale Chart for Radiation Doses->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Understanding radiation exposure is extremely complicated: how long were you exposed? How close? What type of radiation? What types of isotopes? Etc. While it is impossible to condense all issues into one chart, xkcd helps to frame the issue of radiation doses in terms of scale, in terms of sieverts, one of many metrics one needs to understand when it comes to radiation exposure."
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Movies

+ - 3D Cinema Doesn't Work And Never Will->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Walter Murch, one of the most technically knowledgeable film editors and sound designers in the film industry today, argues, via Rogert Ebert's journal in the Chicago Sun-Times, that 3D cinema can't work, ever. Not just today's technology, but even theoretically. Nothing but true holographic images will do. The crux of his argument is simple: 600 million years of evolution has designed eyes that focus and converge in parallel, at the same distance. Look far away at a mountain, and your eyes focus and converge far away, at the same distance. Look closely at a book, and your eyes focus and converge close, at the same distance. But the problem is that 3D cinema technology asks our eyes to converge at one distance, and focus at another, in order for the illusion to work, and this becomes very taxing, if not downright debilitating, and even, for the eyes of the very young, potentially developmentally dangerous. Other problems (but these may be fixable) include the dimness of the image, and the fact that the image tends to "gather in," even on Imax screens, ruining the immersive experience."
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+ - Goatse Security Busted Wide Open->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "An FBI investigation into an iPad security leak, as previously discussed on Slashdot, has resulted in the arrest of Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco, and Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark. Last year, Goatse Security, represented by Mr. Auernheimer with the online moniker "Weev," gained prominence when it used the way AT&T tied email addresses to 3G Internet access to obtain a list of 114,000 email accounts, and released the list to Gawker Media. Since many of these email accounts were .mil or tied to prominent users in Washington D.C., the FBI got involved.
 "

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+ - Happy Programmer's Day->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Today is September 13, 2010, the 256th day of 2010. Last year, President Medvedev of Russia officially signed into decree this day as a professional holiday. So far, only Russia has an official Programmer's Day, but, since us programmer's control all smart phone and computer calendar applications, worldwide official recognition shouldn't be too hard to achieve."
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+ - The Hell known as Internet Screening Services->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Do you think your job is bad? Some websites outsource their moderation to firms where every work day, all work day, workers do nothing but sift through depravity after depravity. '“You have 20-year-old kids who get hired to do content review, and who get excited because they think they are going to see adult porn,” said Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer at MySpace. “They have no idea that some of the despicable and illegal images they will see can haunt them for the rest of their lives.”' Some places only do yearlong contracts, and have counseling services and staff psychologists, because of the brain damage of this kind of work. One psychologist 'reached some unsettling conclusions in her interviews with content moderators. She said they were likely to become depressed or angry, have trouble forming relationships and suffer from decreased sexual appetites. Small percentages said they had reacted to unpleasant images by vomiting or crying. “The images interfere with their thinking processes. It messes up the way you react to your partner,” Ms. Laperal said. “If you work with garbage, you will get dirty.”'"
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Google

+ - Chrome Kills The http:// Prefix-> 2

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "Inevitable or sinister? Monitoring the latest developer releases, Stephen Shankland at cnet news has made the interesting observation that Google intends to do away with the http:/// prefix in Chrome's address bar. Most Slashdot readers will have an automatic negative reaction to this idea, but, to 99% of web users, the prefix is simply an archaic, unnecessary bit of technical jargon. However, Chrome currently relays everything typed in the address bar to Google unless the http:/// is prefixed. So the subtle implication is that soon there will be no defense from Google seeing everything you type in Chrome's address bar. Most dastardly of all: Chrome has just diminished the joke that is Slashdot's name."
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Google

+ - Google Might Leave China Over Gmail Hack->

Submitted by
circletimessquare
circletimessquare writes "The issue has been discussed on Slashdot before: does a US company do business with regimes with poor human rights records? Specifically, does an Internet company help such a government with restrictions on freedoms? What if the company's motto is "Don't be evil"? Now the issue has come to a head with Google discovering a highly sophisticated effort emanating from China to breach the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists. 'David Drummond, Google senior vice president and chief legal officer, added that the attacks "have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China." Google has further decided it is no longer willing to continue censoring its search results in Chinese Google sites, Drummond said, and over the next few weeks it will discuss with the Beijing government how it may operate "an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all," he said. "We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China," he said.' Score one for human rights, and for Google's integrity."
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