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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Parltrack needs money to keep on turning PDFs and DOCs into usable data->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Parltrack is free software that liberates a lot of hard to process data (like PDFs, Word docs, and HTML pages) as reusable open data and presents this as a kind of dashboard for activists, providing fresh and relevant data not only for the concerned but the curious citizen as well. Even pros from the European Parliament have praised it. Parltrack is free software, for further development it needs a few more backers in its crowdsourcing campaign."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ancient Fish Sported Circular-Saw Jaw->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "An ancient fish that sported a saw blade-like whorl of serrated teeth—and was long presumed to be a member of the shark family—actually belonged to a different but closely related group, a new study suggests. Members of the genus Helicoprion were first described in 1899, but fossils have been notoriously incomplete, with most including only spiral groupings of teeth. Accordingly, scientists never came up with a convincing idea of what these creatures looked like, with some teams suggesting the whorls sprouted from the nose like an elephant's trunk, and others placing toothy appendages on the creature's tail, dorsal fins, or drooping from the lower jaw. Now, an x-ray CT scan of a particularly well-preserved fossil unearthed in Idaho in 1950—one that includes 117 teeth, the cartilage on which they were attached, and part of the upper jaw—reveals that the whorl resided within the animal's lower jaw. The size and shape of the upper jaw fragment suggests that the creature was about 4 meters long, with some other species in the Helicoprion genus measuring almost twice that length. The arrangement of tissues in the animal's lower jaw, including those previously hidden by the rock that entombs them, definitively shows that Helicoprion is not a shark, the researchers say. Instead, the genus is nestled firmly within a group of cartilaginous fish known as chimaera, a lineage that includes species commonly known as ghost sharks and ratfish."
Link to Original Source

+ - Latest Kelihos Botnet Shut Down Live at RSA Conference 2013->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "Down goes Kelihos—again. The third version of the prolific peer-to-peer botnet responsible for volumes of pharmaceutical spam, Bitcoin wallet theft and credential harvesting was shut down before a live audience today at RSA Conference 2013.
With the execution of a few commands that culminated weeks of intelligence gathering and coding, a CrowdStrike researcher was able to sinkhole thousands of bots before a packed session hall. A heat map of the world lit up like a stoplight with red dots representing bots connecting to the sinkhole rather than to their P2P proxies—a real-time illustration of a successful takedown."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Time for Optional Pay Business Models? 1

Submitted by eegad
eegad (588763) writes "I've been thinking a lot about how much information I give to technology companies like Google and Facebook and how I'm not super comfortable with what I even dimly know about how they're handling and selling it. Is it time for major companies like this that offer arguably utility-like services for free in exchange for info to start giving customers a choice about how to "pay" for their service? I'd much rather pony up a monthly fee to access all the Google services I use, for example, and be assured that no tracking or selling of my information is going on. I'm not aware of how much money these companies might make from selling data about a particular individual, but could it possibly be more than the $20 or $30 a month I'd happily fork over to know that my privacy is a little more secure? Is this a pipe dream or are there other people who would happily pay for their private use of these services? What kinds of costs or problems could be involved with companies implementing this type of dual business model?"
The Internet

+ - Videos on ACTA->

Submitted by sTeF
sTeF (8952) writes "Laquadrature du Net releases 3 videos on ACTA: Every citizen can help defeat ACTA by spreading this video across the Internet, urging their fellow citizens to mobilize, and contacting their elected representatives. ACTA is a threat to Internet users' fundamental freedoms and to EU Internet companies' competitiveness and free competition. The European Parliament will soon decide whether to give its consent to ACTA, or to reject it once and for all."
Link to Original Source

+ - US Wiretap report: 34% increase->

Submitted by sTeF
sTeF (8952) writes "According to the 2010 Wiretap Report, released today by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) federal and state requests for court permission to intercept or wiretap electronic communications increased 34% in 2010 over 2009 with California, New York, and New Jersey accounting for 68% of all wire taps approved by state judges."
Link to Original Source

+ - Administrative Net Censorship adopted in France->

Submitted by jeremie_z_
jeremie_z_ (639708) writes "The French Parliament adopted article 4 of LOPPSI law, which established the administrative filtering of the Net through the Trojan horse of "child protection". Such a scheme will allow for the generalised censorship of Internet content while doing nothing to stop pedophiles and child pornography. Rejecting judiciary supervision clearly illustrates the will of the executive branch to control the Internet."
Link to Original Source

Humble Bundle 2 Is Live 217

Posted by kdawson
from the now-how-much-would-you-pay dept.
Dayofswords writes "The first Humble Bundle was a monster success, with over 100,000 people donating over $1 million in total to support the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Child's Play, and of course the developers behind the games. The second bundle is now live (bundle site), containing five great games: Braid, Cortex Command, Machinarium, Osmos, and Revenge of the Titans. Each game is DRM-free, the games work on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux, and you pay what you want and decide where your money goes."

Comment: some additional info (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by sTeF (#32625310) Attached to: Italian MEP Wants To Eliminate Anonymity On the Internet
  • according to the eu privacy commissioners opinion the searches themselves are part of the traffic, as such they are protected and not to be collected and stored under the data retention directive.
  • the Data retention directive is unconstitutional in a number of EU countries, in Sweden it hasn't even been adopted yet, since the government does not want to drive voters to the pirate party, let's see what happens after the elections in autumn.
  • it's also important, that the EP rejected the Data retention directive multiple times, only after pressure from the council was it adopted, so extending it will be a hard time for the initiators.

One of the MEPs who started this initiative Mr Motti is an interesting figure. After the vote on the Telecoms package - one of the MEPs who initiated this topic - Mr Motti already foreshadowed his intentions:

"Today, we have indicated our agreement to complete freedom of the internet, to the promotion of an electronic civil society, to the promotion of fundamental freedoms and best practices and to the identification and isolation of all those individuals, in particular, paedophiles and sex offenders"

Also notable is, how much he is is interested in anonymity and blogs:

"Subject: Blogs, freedom of speech and protection of personal dignity Answer(s)The right to freedom of opinion thus becomes a tool with which to harm other people's dignity, including that of children, by hiding behind the anonymity of blogs. This gives rise to a kind of Internet free-for-all, in which citizens do not all enjoy the same rights; it also allows the administrators of blogs defined as 'open', i.e. unmoderated, and the service providers which host them to avoid prosecution for the published content, unlike the editors and publishers of online newspapers."

In another speech Mr Motti also addressed freedom of speech in Italy, i guess this points in the same direction like what is happening currently in Italy regarding google.

On an ironic side note Mr Motti also seems to be highly interested in setting up cameras in kindergartens:

Use of video surveillance systems in childcare centres: "...whether the need to protect the privacy of people exercising a number of key occupations (such as childcare workers and teachers) should be regarded as secondary to the right of babies and children to a serene educational environment?"


"...making childcare centres, kindergartens and schools safer for those attending them, installing video cameras..."

It's ironic, how someone fighting pedophilia wants to setup cameras in childcare centers.

all his debates are available, also his parliamentary questions

+ - EU-India treaty leaks with 3strikes provisions

Submitted by zoobab
zoobab (201383) writes "The draft agreement between Europe and India on Intellectual Property Rights has been leaked, and clearly mentions at its Article 34 the possibility for administrative tribunals, such as the ones currently being setup in France via the Hadopi, to shutdown internet access of suspected downloaders ("This article shall not affect the possibility for a court or administrative authority, in accordance with Parties' legal systems, of requiring the service provider to terminate or prevent an infringement"). The draft also contains provisions on ISPs liabilities. The European Commission is also pushing for ISPs liabilities for copyright infringements in the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was criticised in the public hearing on ACTA on going beyond existing EU laws and the E-commerce directive."

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982