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Comment: Quibbles (Score 2) 2254

by pickens (#35005128) Attached to: Slashdot Launches Re-Design

All in all, the look is good but there are some minor tweeks the new slashdot could use:

1. Not enough contrast in the links in stories for them to be easily visible. That makes a big difference to old guys with deteriotating eyesight (like me).

2. No way for a story submitter to attach a link or email address to his username when he/she submits a story.

3. The story box is too small when making a story submission and makes it difficult to submit stories from an ipad.

4. When I look at popular in the firehose, I don't see the colors indicating their popularity anymore. This was really useful.

5. Please bring back the story rejected/accepted page that used to show up when you submitted a story.

6. The good - that you have retained the ability from the classic view to look at stories nested, flat, back to front etc.

Education

+ - Win the Future says Obama in State of the Union 4

Submitted by pickens
pickens (49171) writes "The Washington Post reports that President Obama repeatedly declared the imperative to "win the future," in his State of the Union address comparing the current need for innovation to the 1950s space race against the Soviet Union and calling for more dedication to research and technology as he raised the specter of a rapidly growing China and India, "This is our generation's Sputnik moment." Obama's proposals — some of them left over from last year's State of the Union address — ranged from increasing math and science teacher training to investing more in developing clean-energy technology. "Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik we had no idea how we'd beat them to the moon. The science wasn't even there yet. NASA didn't exist," he said. "But after investing in better research and education, we didn't just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.""
United States

+ - DOJ Seeks Mandatory Data Retention for ISP's 3

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Computerworld reports that in testimony before Congress the US Department of Justice renewed its call for legislation mandating Internet Service Providers (ISP) retain customer usage data for up to two years because law enforcement authorities are coming up empty-handed in their efforts to go after online predators and other criminals because of the unavailability of data relating to their online activities. "There is no doubt among public safety officials that the gaps between providers' retention policies and law enforcement agencies' needs, can be extremely harmful to the agencies' investigations" says Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general at the Justice Department adding that data retention is crucial to fighting Internet crimes, especially online child pornography (PDF). Weinstein admits that a data retention policy raises valid privacy concerns however, such concerns need to be addressed and balanced against the need for law enforcement to have access to the data. "Denying law enforcement that evidence prevents law enforcement from identifying those who victimize others online," concludes Weinstein."
Facebook

+ - Pope Benedict Says Facebooking Not A Sin

Submitted by
Pickens
Pickens writes "Tom's Guide reports that the Pope has officially blessed the use of Internet communication tools, especially social networks, but warned about risks. "In the search for sharing, for 'friends', there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself," stated Pope Benedict XVI in his statement of "Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age" reminding Christians not to forget the interaction with others in the real world: "It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives." The Pope reminded followers that the Vatican is using the new tools as well adding that he would like to "invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible.""
The Military

+ - Chinese Stealth Fighter Jet May Use US Technology

Submitted by
Ponca City
Ponca City writes "In 1999 a US F-117 Nighthawk was downed by a Serbian anti-aircraft missile during a bombing raid. It was the first time one of the fighters had been hit, and the Pentagon blamed clever tactics and sheer luck. The pilot ejected and was rescued. Now the Guardian reports that pieces of the wrecked US F-117 stealth fighter ended up in the hands of foreign military attaches. "At the time, our intelligence reports told of Chinese agents crisscrossing the region where the F-117 disintegrated, buying up parts of the plane from local farmers," says Admiral Davor Domazet-Loso, Croatia's military chief of staff during the Kosovo war. "We believe the Chinese used those materials to gain an insight into secret stealth technologies ... and to reverse-engineer them." Zoran Kusovac says the Serbian regime routinely shared captured western equipment with its Chinese and Russian allies. "The destroyed F-117 topped that wish-list for both the Russians and Chinese," says Kusovac."
Earth

+ - Scientists Warn of California Franken-Storm

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The LA Times reports that California's "big one" may not be an earthquake at all, but a devastating megastorm that would inundate the Central Valley, trigger widespread landslides and cause flood damage to 1 in 4 homes costing more than $300 billion in property damage — four times that of a very large earthquake. A team of more than 100 scientists, engineers and emergency planners used flood mapping, climate change projections and geologic flood history to simulate a hypothetical storm so intense that it occurs only every 100 to 200 years with an "atmospheric river" of moisture from the tropical Pacific hitting California with up to 10 feet of rain and hurricane-force winds over several weeks. The simulation is based on a 45-day series of storms that started in December 1861 that turned the Sacramento Valley into an inland sea, pushing California into bankruptacy, forcing the state Capitol to be moved temporarily from Sacramento to San Francisco, and requiring Gov. Leland Stanford to take a rowboat to his inauguration. "We need to recognize that flooding here in California is as much of a risk as an earthquake," says Lucy Jones, chief scientist for the Geological Survey's Multi-Hazards Project. "These storms are like hurricanes in the amount of rain that they produce.""
Television

+ - New TV Show May Violate Child Pornography Laws 3

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "The Contra Costa Times reports that executives at MTV are concerned that some scenes from the provocative new show "Skins" may violate child pornography statutes defined by the federal government as any visual depiction of someone under 18 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. "Skins" is an import from Britain, a country that has historically displayed a higher tolerance for TV eroticism and episodes there included simulated masturbation, implied sexual assault, and teenagers disrobing and getting into bed together. The early episodes for MTV, including the third one, are virtually identical to the source material. The Parents Television Council, a TV watchdog group, has labeled "Skins" the "most dangerous program that has ever been foisted on your children" and has asked Congress and the Justice Department to investigate because unlike "Glee" and other TV shows depicting sexually active teenagers, the actors in "Skins" are still teenagers, rather than actors in their 20s. However MTV says the show addresses real-world issues confronting teens in a frank way. "We also have taken numerous steps to alert viewers to the strong subject matter so that they can choose for themselves whether it is appropriate.""
Education

+ - Study Sez Txt Msgs Make Kidz Gr8 Spellrz

Submitted by
Picknz
Picknz writes "The Telegraph reports that researchers have found that texting can improve literacy among pupils by giving them extra exposure to word composition outside the school day. According to the report, the association between spelling and text messaging may be explained by the ''highly phonetic nature' of the abbreviations used by children and the alphabetic awareness required for successfully decoding the words. "It is also possible that textism use adds value because of the indirect way in which mobile phone use may be increasing children’s exposure to print outside of school," says the report. "We are now starting to see consistent evidence that children's use of text message abbreviations has a positive impact on their spelling skills," adds Professor Claire Wood. "There is no evidence that children's language play when using mobile phones is damaging literacy development.""

Comment: Not a Smoking Gun (Score 2) 136

by pickens (#34959922) Attached to: Does Google Pin Copyright Violations On the ASF?
http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/01/new-alleged-evidence-of-android-infringement-isnt-a-smoking-gun.ars

"A close look at the actual files and accompanying documentation, however, suggest that it's not a simple case of copy and paste. The infringing files are found in a compressed archive in a third-party component supplied by SONiVOX, a member of Google's Open Handset Alliance (OHA). SONiVOX, which was previously called Sonic, develops an Embedded Audio Synthesis (EAS) framework and accompanying Java API wrappers which it markets as audioINSIDE."

It's not clear how the zip file got included in the AOSP, but it's obvious that it wasn't intended to be there and isn't actually used by Android in any capacity. Android is using SONiVOX's EAS code, but doesn't use or need the MMAPI wrapper. This incident is very clearly not a case of Android stealing code from Sun or J2ME. It's a handful of test cases from an unrelated and publicly available Sun reference implementation that got uploaded by accident to AOSP in a zip archive supplied by a third party. It's a tacky mistake, but it's hardly serious or damaging. At worst, it warrants a takedown notice. It's certainly not a smoking gun as one might assume when viewing the code out of context.

Java

+ - Android Code Apparently Lifted From Java 1

Submitted by
Ponca City
Ponca City writes "The San Francisco Chronicle reports that according to new research by an intellectual property lawyer Florian Mueller, a portion of the code for Android is copied directly from Java lending credence to Oracle's intellectual property suit against Google. Mueller took a close look at some of the public evidence in the case, and he claims to have found 43 Android files that were directly copied from Java noting that some of the files were changed slightly, but the differences were "minuscule" — basically, it looks like the coders took the files, added a few comments or moved a few lines around without changing the logic of the code, then put it into the Android source code. Mueller has documented his findings in nine separate PDF files, seven of which compare the decompiled version of a file from Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE) version 5.0 to the corresponding file in the Android source code tree. Mueller concludes that if the case moves on, the discovery process could be "very fruitful for Oracle, and may become dreadful for Google.""
Movies

+ - Wikileaks Movie Coming to the Big Screen

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "First Facebook and now Wikileaks as the Guardian reports that studio executives have picked up the screen rights to the forthcoming Julian Assange biography "The Most Dangerous Man in the World" by award-winning Australian writer Andrew Fowler. The book details Assange's life from his childhood on Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia, all the way through to his founding of the whistleblower website in 2006 to publish classified material. Producers Barry Josephson and Michelle Krumm, who have optioned The Most Dangerous Man in the World, say they are planning a "suspenseful drama" in the vein of All the President's Men and with the thrill of a Tom Clancy novel. "As soon as I met Andrew and read a few chapters of his profound book, I knew that – with his incredibly extensive depth of knowledge – it would enable us to bring a thought-provoking thriller to the screen," says Krumm."
Apple

+ - The Case of Apple's Mystery Screw 1

Submitted by
Pickens
Pickens writes "Network World reports that in the past if you wanted to remove the outer case on your iPhone 4 to replace the battery or a broken screen, you could use a Phillip screwdriver to remove two tiny screws at the base of the phone and then simply slide off the back cover. But now Apple is replacing the outer screw with a mysterious tamper-resistant "pentalobular" screw across its most popular product lines, making it harder for do-it-yourselfers to make repairs. What about existing products in the field? Pentalobular screws might find their way into them, too. "Apple's latest policy will make your blood boil," says Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. "If you take your iPhone 4 into Apple for any kind of service, they will sabotage it by replacing your Phillips screws with the new, tamper-resistant screws. We've spoken with the Apple Store geniuses tasked with carrying out this policy, and they are ashamed of the practice." Of course only Apple authorized service technicians have Pentalobular screwdrivers and they're not allowed to resell them. "Apple sees a huge profit potential," says Wiens. "A hundred dollars per year in incremental revenue on their installed base is a tremendous opportunity.""
Graphics

+ - Facebook Images to Get Expiration Date

Submitted by
Pickens
Pickens writes "BBC reports that researchers have created software that gives images an expiration date by tagging them with an encrypted key so that once this date has passed the key stops the images being viewed and copied. Professor Michael Backes, who led development of the X-Pire system, says development work began about 18 months ago as potentially risky patterns of activity on social networks, such as Facebook, showed a pressing need for such a system. "More and more people are publishing private data to the internet and it's clear that some things can go wrong if it stays there too long," says Backes. The X-Pire software creates encrypted copies of images and asks those uploading them to give each one an expiration date. Viewing these images requires the free X-Pire browser add-on. When the viewer encounters an encrypted image it sends off a request for a key to unlock it. This key will only be sent, and the image become viewable, if the expiration date has not been passed."

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