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Input Devices

Fight You Own Muscles To Create Force-Feedback On Smartphones 72

Posted by samzenpus
from the isometric-gaming dept.
FatLittleMonkey writes "Researchers in Germany have developed a device that allows users of portable devices, such as smartphones, experience force-feedback from games using just their own muscles... and a small EMS device. When stimulated by a painless electric pulse, the player's arm moves the device in whichever direction the game commands. The player then fights the movement with their other muscles, creating a strong sensation that the device itself is bucking in their hands. According to the developers, users found the sensation much more realistic than traditional vibrotactile feedback. (Should make PvP more interesting too.)"
Earth

Hurricane Could Make a Mess of Republican Convention 503

Posted by timothy
from the gettin'-windy dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "ABC News reports that Hurricane Isaac, currently a tropical storm brewing southeast of Puerto Rico, is on track to hit Florida the same day that Mitt Romney and 50,000 Republican delegates, journalists, protestors and guests descend on Tampa for the Republican National Convention but whether it will skim the east coast near Miami or crash head-on into Tampa, is still up in the air. The worst possible scenario is that Hurricane Isaac stays on the western track, skating over the Caribbean Sea south of Haiti, crossing the primarily flat landscape of western Cuba into the Gulf of Mexico then curving east and hitting Tampa dead-on. 'Tampa is just as vulnerable as New Orleans was in the sense that the water will funnel into the bay area and from the storm surge which will flood completely the whole entire city of Tampa,' says meteorologist Max Golembo. 'It would be a disaster in the Tampa area.' If a hurricane or tropical storm is bearing down on Tampa, the priority of law enforcement is to evacuate residents, leaving GOP officials to make the decision of when to evacuate delegates says Hillsborough County Emergency Management spokeswoman Holly Wade. 'We have to look at a lot of factors, like timing and landfall,' says Wade. 'We provide the weather information, then we take that to the host committee, which decides if the event goes on or if the event gets altered.' A Category 2 hurricane could disrupt convention activities because the Tampa Bay Times Forum, site of the festivities, is within a mandatory evacuation zone for storms of that magnitude."
GNU is Not Unix

How Will Steam on GNU/Linux Affect Software Freedom? 580

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the father-rms-declares-you-are-a-bad-person dept.
rms has published his thoughts on Steam coming to GNU/Linux. He notes that the availability of proprietary games may very well help spread GNU/Linux (but the FSF prioritizes spreading software freedom). And, you're better off at least having a Free operating system instead of Windows: "My guess is that the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm. But there is also an indirect effect: what does the use of these games teach people in our community? Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect." Or: How will the FOSS community affect Valve? Already they've contributed a bit to the graphics stack, hired a few folks from inside the community, etc. But Steam also makes use of DRM and distributes software in ways that are opposed to the ideals of many in the FOSS community (and even the wider Free Culture community). Given Gabe Newell's professed love for openness, might we see their company culture infiltrated?
Wikipedia

What Should We Do About Wikipedia's Porn Problem? 544

Posted by Soulskill
from the make-a-wiki-about-it dept.
Larry Sanger writes "In 2011, the Wikimedia Board committed to installing a 'controversial content' filter even weaker than Google's SafeSearch, as proposed by the '2010 Wikimedia Study of Controversial Content.' Since then, after growing opposition by some Wikipedians, some board members have made it clear that they do not expect this filter to be finished and installed. Nevertheless, Wikipedia continues to host an enormous amount of extremely gross porn and other material most parents don't want their kids stumbling across. And this content is some of the website's most-accessed. Nevertheless, children remain some of Wikipedia's heaviest users. Jimmy Wales has recently reiterated his support for such a filter, but no work is being done on it, and the Foundation has not yet issued any statement about whether they intend to continue work on it." (In case it isn't obvious from the headline and summary, these articles discuss subject matter that may not be appropriate for workplace reading.)
The Internet

Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Monitor Traffic? 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the keeping-an-eye-on-things dept.
First time accepted submitter Shalmendo writes "My client needs to monitor traffic on his LAN, particularly going out to the internet. This will include websites like Facebook, Myspace, and similar, including from mobile devices. So far, based on the network education I have, I've concluded that it might be best to get a tap (And some kind of recording system with wireshark, probably a mini-barebone), or replace the existing Linksys router with a custom built mini barebone system with linux routing software and appropriate storage capacity etc to record traffic internally. (either way it looks like I will need to put together a mini barebone system for some purpose) My client is trying to protect his family from scammers and other unsavory types, and isn't savvy in this matter, so i'm doing it for him. What I need is a way to record the traffic at a singular point, like modem/router areas, or similar, and a way to scrape out Facebook, Myspace, and other messages. It also appears that the client's family is using iPhones and some game called 'words' which has message capability. Is it possible to scrape messages out of that game's packets, or are they obfuscated? Can I write a script? What software would you recommend? Linux routing OS? Can we sniff packets and drop them on the internal hard drive? or would a tap be better? How do I analyze and sort the data afterwards? my client needs easily read evidence (Such as text or screenshots) he can use as proof in discussion with his family to try and intercede in any potentially harmful transactions. In other words, how can I Achieve this goal? I have basic and medium training in computer networking, so I can make my own cables and such, but I've never worked on this exact kind of project before, and thought it might be better to query slashdot instead of do my own research from scratch. After days of discussion with the client, it's not plausible to put monitoring software in the devices on the network (due to legal issues and a few other factors), so I concluded a network tap or other device would be the best way to capture and study what's going on."
Japan

JAXA Creates Camera That Can See Radiation 49

Posted by timothy
from the predator-mecha-are-next dept.
New submitter Ben_R_R writes "The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency has created a camera that can 'see' radioactive contamination by detecting gamma rays emitted by radioactive cesium and other substances. The camera has been tested in the disaster evacuation zone around Fukushima. The image captures levels of radiation in six different colors and overlays the result over an image captured with a wide angle lens."
Politics

Scientists Say People Aren't Smart Enough For Democracy To Flourish 1276

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-voted-for-who? dept.
cold fjord writes "The inability of the incompetent to recognize their own limitations is a story that has been covered before on Slashdot. But, what happens when you apply that finding to politics? From the article: 'The democratic process relies on the assumption that citizens can recognize the best political candidate, or best policy idea. But a growing body of research has revealed an unfortunate aspect of the human psyche that would seem to disprove this notion, and imply instead that democratic elections produce mediocre leadership and policies. The research shows that incompetent people are inherently unable to judge the competence of other people, or the quality of those people's ideas. If people lack expertise on tax reform, it is very difficult for them to identify the candidates who are actual experts. They simply lack the mental tools needed to make meaningful judgments...democracies rarely or never elect the best leaders. Their advantage over dictatorships or other forms of government is merely that they "effectively prevent lower-than-average candidates from becoming leaders."'"
Censorship

Indonesian Man Faces Five Years For Atheist Facebook Post 907

Posted by samzenpus
from the unlike-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "31-year-old Alexander Aan faces a maximum prison sentence of five years for posting 'God does not exist' on Facebook. The civil servant was attacked and beaten by an angry mob of dozens who entered his government office at the Dharmasraya Development Planning Board on Wednesday. The Indonesian man was taken into protective police custody Friday since he was afraid of further physical assault."
Canada

Web Developer Sentenced To Death In Iran 368

Posted by Soulskill
from the some-things-are-worse-than-sopa dept.
An anonymous reader points out the case of Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-born permanent resident of Canada who worked as a web developer. In 2008, during a visit to Iran, Malekpour was arrested and detained by Iranian authorities on charges that he designed and moderated "adult content websites." In 2009, he was sentenced to death for "acting against the national security, insulting and desecrating the principles of Islam, and agitating the public mind." Malekpour wrote photo-uploading software, and in a letter he sent from prison, he said it was used by porn sites without his knowledge. This week an Iranian court reviewed the case and confirmed that the death sentence was an acceptable punishment. According to one Canadian publication, "Human rights monitors believe that Malekpour, one of a number of people held on Internet-related charges, is trapped by a convoluted justice system that is manipulated by rival factions in Iran."
The Internet

Warner Brothers: Automated Takedown Notices Hit Files That Weren't Ours 157

Posted by timothy
from the let-god-sort-'em-out dept.
itwbennett writes "In a court case between Hotfile.com and Hollywood studios, Warner Brothers admitted they sent takedown orders for thousands of files they didn't own or control. Using an automated takedown tool provided by Hotfile, Warner Brothers used automated software crawlers based on keywords to generate legal takedown orders. This is akin to not holding the Post Office liable for what people mail, or the phone companies liable for what people say. But the flip side is that hosters must remove files when receiving a legal takedown notice from the copyright holder — even when the copyright holders themselves don't know what material they actually own."
Communications

Why the Fax Machine Refuses To Die 835

Posted by Soulskill
from the pull-the-plug dept.
snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia waxes befuddled on the ongoing existence of the fax machine. 'Consider what a fax machine actually is: a little device with a sheet feeder, a terrible scanning element, and an ancient modem. Most faxes run at 14,400bps. That's just over 1KB per second — and people are still using faxes to send 52 poorly scanned pages of some contract to one another. Over analog phone lines. Sometimes while paying long-distance charges! The mind boggles,' Venezia writes. 'If something as appallingly stupid as the fax machine can live on, it makes you wonder how we make progress at all. Old habits die hard. It just goes to show you: Bad technology generally isn't the problem; it's the people who persist in using that technology rather than embracing far superior alternatives.'"

Comment: Re:You don't git it (Score 1) 312

by msaavedra (#37276854) Attached to: Kernel.org Compromised

Most distributions (ie the archlinux one you linked to) digitally sign their packages with private keys, so the people who compromised kernel.org wouldn't be able to tamper with them without causing verification failures by the package management system.

One huge problem could be downloadable ISOs for live images or installer DVDs. Since you are booting up your system with them, there would be no reliable automatic signature verification.

I downloaded a Centos-6 ISO from the kernel.org mirror just the other day, and broke out in a cold sweat when I saw this story. However, Centos and just about everyone else publishes checksums of their ISOs. I compared my download against the checksum, and, to my relief, it matched.

It would be wise if everyone compared checksums immediately after downloading something like this. Alternately, you can use a protocol like BitTorrent for the download, which compares checksums automatically.

Government

Mass. Court Says Constitution Protects Filming On-Duty Police 473

Posted by timothy
from the good-setting-for-the-scene dept.
Even in a country and a world where copyright can be claimed as an excuse to prevent you from taking a photo of a giant sculpture in a public, tax-paid park, and openly recording visiting police on your own property can be construed as illegal wiretapping, it sometimes seems like the overreach of officialdom against people taking photos or shooting video knows no bounds. It's a special concern now that seemingly everyone over the age of 10 is carrying a camera that can take decent stills and HD video. It's refreshing, therefore, to read that a Federal Appeals Court has found unconstitutional the arrest of a Massachusetts lawyer who used his phone to video-record an arrest on the Boston Common. (Here's the ruling itself, as a PDF.) From the linked article, provided by reader schwit1: "In its ruling, which lets Simon Glik continue his lawsuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston said the wiretapping statute under which Glik was arrested and the seizure of his phone violated his First and Fourth Amendment rights."
Patents

Patent Applications Hint Apple Wants To Eliminate Printer Drivers 323

Posted by timothy
from the from-anywhere-is-a-nice-ideal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Apple has filed two patent applications that describe an approach as well as file formats and APIs to eliminate the printer driver as a requirement for users to access a printer and print documents. If the company has its way, there will be three ways to access a printer in the future: The first will be via a conventional software driver. The second will be via a cloud service and the third will be via a driverless access method that supports 'universal' printing from any type device."
Communications

Why Public Email Needs a Police Force 133

Posted by Soulskill
from the quis-custodiet-ipsos-spamodes dept.
jfruhlinger writes "Those of us who had email addresses in the early days of the Internet age remember sending notes to webmaster email addresses to report malicious email behavior — and actually getting a response back. But today, a huge majority of mail comes from public services like Gmail or Yahoo mail, and getting anyone at those companies to take responsibility for abusive users is nearly impossible. 'If they could agree on a third-party service that could be the receptacle on a 24/7 basis for rapid account suspension, the 419 Fraud problem might dwindle down to a trickle quickly. It would take trust among the email providers to do this, but it would also alleviate big problems that law enforcement officials are usually unable to handle. Call them the email cops.'"

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