And then I was modded down by someone who does not understand sarcasm!
CWmike writes "Ever try to remember who you bumped into at the store a few days back? Well, you're not alone. And IBM researchers are working on software that just may help you better recollect all the forgotten pieces of your life. This week, the company unveiled Pensieve, software that stores images, sounds, and text on everyday mobile devices, then allows the user extract them later on, to help them recall names, faces, conversations and events. IBM's project is akin to one that Gordon Bell and other scientists at Microsoft Research have been working on for the past nine years."
An anonymous reader writes "The White House Office of Administration is not required to turn over records about a trove of possibly missing e-mails, a federal judge ruled Monday. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly found the agency does not have 'substantial independent authority,' so it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act."
Stanislav_J writes "In a bizarre revelation, the judge who is presiding over the Isaacs obscenity trial in Los Angeles was found to have sexually explicit material on a publicly-accessible website. Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, acknowledged that he had posted the materials, but says he believed the site to be for personal storage only, and not accessible to the public (though he does acknowledge sharing some of the material with friends). The files included images of masturbation, public sex, contortionist sex, a transsexual striptease, a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. The latter two are especially ironic in that the trial involves the distribution of allegedly obscene sexual fetish videos depicting bestiality, among other things, by Ira Isaacs, an L.A. filmmaker."
fast66 writes "Nextgov reports that a new court order allows the Department of the Interior to connect to the Internet, six years after the federal agency was ordered to disconnect. District Judge James Robertson wrote in his ruling, 'I find that the consent order is of no further use and must be vacated.' 'The ... disconnected offices and bureaus may be connected.' He added that his ruling was based not on evidence but 'on a legal conclusion that it is not my role to weigh IT security risks.'"
Stony Stevenson writes "Certain carbon nanotubes may be as hazardous to humans as asbestos. A paper to be published in Nature Nanotechnology suggests that inhaling certain types of nanotubes can lead to the formation of mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. "This is a wakeup call for nanotechnology in general and carbon nanotubes in particular," said Andrew Maynard, co-author of the report and chief science adviser to the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies." I'm really hoping that those medical face masks get popular again. That's a look that should really be cyclic, like bell-bottoms and thongs. Update: 05/21 19:18 GMT by T : See also this page at the Nanotechnology Project, which features a link to video commentary from Andrew Maynard, the researcher mentioned in the above-linked article.
GameSpot is reporting that details for Guitar Hero 4 have been released. The biggest news seems to be that the new release will be adding drums and vocals a la Rock Band. The new drums are to offer three pressure-sensitive pads (which can tell if you are just tapping or really wailing), two elevated cymbals, and a pedal. "The details in Game Informer also clear up the mystery surrounding the 'innovation' which Activision promised was coming to the Guitar Hero series in a recent earnings report conference call. The article outlines the game's studio mode, which will give users a variety of ways to create their own songs. Players will be able to jam along with one of the game's existing tracks, record songs as they're played, or meticulously detail note charts."
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that it seems the UK is trying make up for their judicious use of surveillance cameras that, according to recent research, do not actually deter crime, by using the surveillance network to prosecute petty crimes. "Conjuring up the bogeymen of terrorists, online pedophiles and cybercriminals, the U.K. passed a comprehensive surveillance law, The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, in 2000. The law allows 'the interception of communications, carrying out of surveillance, and the use of covert human intelligence sources' to help prevent crime, including terrorism. Recent reports in the U.K. media indicate that the laws are being used for everything but terrorism investigations."
theodp writes "A just-published IBM patent application for a Software Inspection Management Tool claims to improve software quality by taking a chess-clock-like approach to code walkthroughs. An inspection rate monitor with 'a pause button, a resume button, a complete button, a total lines inspected indication, and a total lines remaining to be inspected indication' keeps tabs on participants' progress and changes color when management's expectations — measured in lines per hour — are not being met."
goombah99 writes "While on vacation, I occasionally need to check my e-mail on a public terminal. What are some good techniques for avoiding keyloggers? Most of my ideas seem to have major drawbacks. Linux LiveCD can probably avoid software keyloggers, but it requires an invasive takeover of the public terminal, and is generally not possible. Kyps.net offers a free reverse proxy that will decode your password from a one-time pad you carry around, then enter it remotely. But, of course, you are giving them your passwords when you do this. You can run Firefox off a USB stick with various plugins (e.g. RoboForm) that will automatically fill the page in some manner they claim to be invulnerable to keyloggers. If that's true, (and I can't evaluate its security) it's getting close to a solution. Unfortunately, keeping the password file up-to-date is a mild nuisance. Moreover, since it will need to be a Windows executable, it's not possible for people without a Windows machine available to fill in their passwords ahead of time. For my business, I have SecureID, which makes one-time passwords. It's a good solution for businesses, but not for personal accounts on things like Gmail, etc. So, what solutions do you use, or how do you mitigate the defects of the above processes? In particular, how do people with Mac or Linux home computers deal with this?"
mattnyc99 writes "We've gotten excited here about the startup that claims it can make $1/gallon ethanol out of anything from trash to tires. But we've also seen how cellulosic ethanol is a better option, and how ethanol demand in general is only adding to the worldwide food crisis. So what about $1/gallon gasoline? NSF-funded researchers at UMass Amherst just completed the first direct conversion from cellulose using a new method of hydrocarbon refining, which they claim can be commercialized within 5-10 years and essentially make fuel out of anything that grows. Quoting: 'We already have the infrastructure in place to distribute liquid fuels. We're using them to power transportation vehicles today, and I think that's what we'll be using in 10 years and in 50 years,' Huber says. 'And if you want a sustainable liquid transportation fuel, biomass is the only way to go.'" The process is running at about 50% efficiency now; the $1/gallon figure is based on getting to 100%.
spacefiddle writes "Computerworld has an article about a presentation from Gartner analysts in Las Vegas claiming that Windows is 'collapsing', and that Microsoft 'must make radical changes to the operating system or risk becoming a has-been.' Michael Silver and Neil MacDonald provided an analysis of what went wrong with Vista, and what they feel Microsoft can and must do to correct its problems. Larry Dignan of ZDNet has his own take, and while he agrees, he suggests that the downfall of Windows will be slow and drawn-out. As an interesting tangent to this, there's also a story from a few days prior about Ubuntu replacing Windows for a school's library kiosks, getting good performance out of older hardware. '[Network administrator Daniel] Stefyn said he was "pleasantly surprised" to discover that the Kubuntu desktops ran some applications faster with Linux than when they ran on Windows. An additional benefit of Windows' departure from student library terminals saw the students cease 'hacking the setup to install and play games or trash the operating system.'"
An anonymous reader writes "Sony CEO Ryoji Chubachi knows something we don't. At a press conference, he announced Sony's plan to increase Blu-ray market share to 50% of all movie discs by the end of the year. 'DVD and BD currently account for about 80% and 20%, respectively, of global demand for movie discs, Chubachi indicated. The new BD devices to be offered by Sony include models integrating an HD LCD TV with BD recording functionality, Chubachi pointed out. Sony has relied mainly on the PlayStation 3 (PS3) to promote BD, and sales of the game console will increase along with the offering by top Hollywood studios of new BD movies, Chubachi noted. However, Sony will extend its BD promotion from the current focus on the PS3 and BD players/recorders to IT devices, Chubachi pointed out.'"
ribasushi writes "The last open day at the Large Hadron Collider is one week away. While I have a solid chance to go, I am dumbstruck by the insane amount of things to see during the 10 hours of the event. Since I do not know all that much about physics, I am turning to the knowledgeable crowd here at Slashdot — what do you think are the most awesome 5 must-see things on the agenda next Sunday?"
se7en writes "VeriSign is jacking up prices for the .com and .net domains for the second year running, increasing both by the maximum 7% allowed under its exclusive contract with ICANN. 'Assuming that VeriSign continues the 7 percent rise each year (which seems reasonable given the company's history), registrars will be looking at $9.00 for .com domains by the time the current contract ends in 2012 — a 50 percent increase in six years.' Registrars have no choice but to pony up, and chances are they'll pass the pain on to customers."