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Censorship

+ - Chinese Censor Going Mad, Coutering Tools Rise->

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear (988354) writes "Hong Kong newspaper Mingpao Daily reports that the number of words being censored by Chinese authority has mushroomed and a new software tool known as Online Anti-Harmonizer has rapidly gaining popularity. The software claimed to contain a dictionary of over 10,000 words censored by the infamous Green Dam software and baidu.com and will automatically insert random punctuations to your online post to get it pass through the automated filtering algorithm. The Chinese censorship effort, known as Harmonization, has gone mad. Not only it censors politically sensitive words such as June 4, Liu Xiaobo but it starts blocking words that are far or completely unrelated. The newspaper reported earlier that the words empty chair has been blocked because it becomes a symbol of Liu Xiaobo's absence in the Nobel Peace Price ceremony; the last name Liu, one of the most common Chinese last names, is also blocked. The name of the current Chinese president, Hu Jintao, is blocked (probably because they reason that no comments with his name can be good.) Even worse, because of the lack of word separator in Chinese, topics not having the censored words are being blocked. For example, "(Chinese currency) Yuan Being Manipulated" is blocked, not because the topic is blocked, but because first two characters of the the words "being manipulated" in Chinese, i.e. "bei cao" in "bei cao zhong", means "being fucked" in Chinese."
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+ - Postal Trucks to Become Sensor Platforms?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. Postal Service may face insolvency by 2011 (it lost $8.5 billion last year). An op-ed piece in today's New York Times proposes an interesting business idea for the Postal Service: use postal trucks as a giant fleet of mobile sensor platforms. (Think Google Streetview on steroids.) The trucks could be outfitted with a variety of sensors (security, environmental, RF ...) and paid for by businesses. The article's author addresses some of the obvious privacy concerns that arise."
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Politics

+ - Vatican Latest in WikiLeaks Revelations->

Submitted by healeyb
healeyb (1799034) writes "WikiLeaks continued as promised to release cables daily, and the New York Times and other news outlets are reporting interesting revelations about the Vatican and the Catholic church. Amongst the discoveries is church sentiment regarding sexual abuse and complimentary legal action, with Cardinal Angelo Sodano expressing strong displeasure to US ambassadors over..."
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Idle

+ - New Clothing Line Reminds TSA of the 4th Amendment->

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "AOL News reports that there's a line of underclothes that offer a friendly reminder of the Fourth Amendment called 4th Amendment Wear. Metallic ink printed on shirts spells out the privacy rights stated in the amendment and is designed to appear in TSA scanners. The 4th Amendment Wear line also includes non-metallic options, including underpants for both adults and children. Should a passenger be stripped down, instead of the full amendment, they'll receive a more direct message: "Read the 4th Amendment Perverts." "If you're getting that close to kids' underwear, you have license to say something a little tongue-in-cheek," says creator Tim Geoghegan."
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Earth

+ - Coral-Like Living Skin Developed for Buildings->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Greenwich in the UK are developing a carbon negative building material that would not only help fight climate change but protect the structures it is built upon. The material is made from protocells — super simple cells that have only the basic elements of life, yet are able to grow and multiply — that will capture carbon in their membranes and grow over time to create a hard, coral-like armor around or under buildings."
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Security

+ - WikiLeaks’ Biggest Revelation: Poor Security->

Submitted by geek4
geek4 (1735644) writes "The biggest revelation from WikiLeaks is government incompetence not government secrets, and Gary McKinnon did it first, says Eric Doyle

There is an elephant sitting in the corner of government chambers that’s being ignored while the powers-that-be concentrate public attention on the guerrilla in the room – WikiLeaks.

While Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ whistleblower-in-chief, is being demonised by government leaders, and the US races to shut Wikileaks down, the fact that their security is leaking like a sieve appears to be going unnoticed.

The recent political disclosures show that governments still have to learn the lessons about digital security that their citizens have been trying to learn. Security has to be a prime concern and, if it is not, you only have yourself to blame."

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Graphics

+ - Graphics fundamentals - the why of 4-D matrices-> 2

Submitted by
solarmist
solarmist writes "I've seen a lot of posts that curse the math used in computer graphics, especially 4-d matrices. Most graphics books skip over the motivation for this entirely; leading people to see this as complicating things and being done arbitrarily, but there's a good reason behind it. This article tries to explain one of the main reasons for this. Basically it simplifies the math and makes representing transformations much easier."
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NASA

+ - Vasimr VX-200 Reaches Full Power Efficiency

Submitted by Matt_dk
Matt_dk (1306071) writes "Ad Astra Rocket Company’s VASIMR® VX-200 rocket prototype demonstrated its highest power efficiency and performance so far in tests, which ended Friday November 19 at the company’s Houston laboratory. Last week’s results met the efficiency milestone set by the company as it specifies the requirements for the VF-200 flight engine for the International Space Station. The VX-200 is the full power laboratory prototype that provides the technical basis for the design of the flight hardware."
Piracy

+ - Operation Payback targets RIAA CEO's family->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In retaliation for the Limewire shutdown, Anonymous is launching a new DDoS attack against the RIAA. But this time they've published the CEO's home address, his wife's name, and is encouraging pizza delivery orders, prank phone calls, and "creative" pranks on his home. Too far?"
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+ - CRTC to Allow Usage Based Billing->

Submitted by Idiomatick
Idiomatick (976696) writes "The CRTC ruled in favour today for usage based billing. Bell Canada was given a monopoly on lines in Canada, in exchange they were made to resell to competitors at cost in order to have a functional market. The new CRTC ruling will allow Bell to charge their competitors more money based on individual customer usage. They are now able to implement a 60GB cap on a competitor's highest speed lines (charging $1.12/GB for overages). Bell however; it was ruled that they are permitted to continue with it's unlimited usage plan. The effect on the market seems clear."
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+ - Ask Slashdot: Induction cooktop fun

Submitted by fishfrys
fishfrys (720495) writes "Besides generating heat quickly and efficiently in ferromagnetic pans, what sorts of fun things can you do with an induction cooktop? This seems like a pretty serious piece of electromagnetic equipment — boiling water can't be the only thing it's good for. I went to youtube expecting to find all sorts of crazy videos of unsafe induction cooktop shenanigans, but only found cooking. What sort of exciting, if not stupid, physics experiments can be performed with one? Hard drive scrubber... DIY Tesla coil? There's got to be something. Thanks."

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.

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