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Comment: Re:My data will be readable (Score 2) 358

by starburst (#43911077) Attached to: Vint Cerf: Data That's Here Today May Be Gone Tomorrow

From a 2002 slashdot story:

mccalli writes :
"Thought people might find this amusing. In 1986, the UK compiled an electronic [copy of the] domesday book. They used BBC Master computers to do it, and the result was put on laserdisc. I actually used this project whilst at school. This article states that nothing can now read these merely 15-year old discs. The original, written approx. 1086, is still doing fine thank you very much."
Sounds like a good candidate for Bruce Sterling's Dead Media Project. (Speaking of Sterling, the "graying cyberpunk" has an interesting article in the Austin Chronicle on the upcoming SXSW Interactive conference called "Information Wants to be Worthless" -- thanks to reader ag3n7.)

+ - Microsoft Apologizes for Employee's Xbox 'Always-Online' Tweets 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "On Thursday, Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth sent out a slew of tweets implying that he sees nothing wrong with rumors of Microsoft’s next Xbox, codenamed Durango, requiring an “always-on” Internet connection to function. Unsurprisingly, the backlash from users was massive, and although Orth ended up setting his Twitter account to private to hide them from the general public, by then the damage had already been done.

Microsoft on Friday released an official statement regarding the tweets: "We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter.""
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bending-the-rules dept.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"

Comment: Re:First my beloved Viper fighter, now this (Score 5, Informative) 820

by starburst (#40772641) Attached to: Feds Ban 'Buckyballs' Magnets

According to Alive Past 5 .com

The Top Five Causes Of Unintentional Injury involving children:

1. Car Accidents: Kill 260,000 children a year and injure about 10 million children. They are the leading cause of death among children and a leading cause of child disability.
2. Drowning: Kills more than 175,000 children annually. Up to 3 million children each year survive a drowning incident. Due to brain damage in some survivors, nonfatal drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of any type of child injury.
3. Burns: Fire-related burns kill nearly 96,000 children a year.
4. Falls: Nearly 47,000 children fall to their deaths every year, but hundreds of thousands more children sustain serious injuries from a fall.
5. Poisoning: More than 45,000 children die each year from unintended poisoning.

Looks like there is a whole lot more that needs to be banned, or re-labeled. Think of the children.

Twitter

+ - Twitter as realtime sports reporter->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Can people be used as a "sensor net" to detect when important events happen? A group of researchers at Rice University (Houston) think that
"The global human population can be regarded as geographically distributed, multimodal sensors"
When it comes to sporting events it seems that all you have to do is look to the twitter frequency. The system that they created seems to work for most games. The exception to this is the Super Bowl for the reason that the sheer number of tweets about the game saturated the Twitter distribution system and so they couldn't pick out the maximum in tweet frequencies. They also have some interesting observations on how fast tweets follow an event."

Link to Original Source
Image

Auto Incorrect 86

Posted by samzenpus
from the slip-of-the-finger dept.
theodp writes "Combine smartphone auto correction and fat-fingered virtual keyboard typing, writes Rob Walker, and the results can be hilarious and even shocking. The website Damn You, Autocorrect collects the awesomely embarrassing text messages that you never meant to send. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to masturbate some chicken for bisexuals night!"

Comment: Re:But if that's right... (Score 3, Interesting) 774

by starburst (#26698243) Attached to: New Paper Offers Additional Reasoning for Fermi's Paradox

I posted this in January 2005:

Drakes formula allows some kind of estimate as to the number of intelligent societies there might be "out there".

The following is from a great book by A.K. Dewdney: Yes, We Have no Neutrons.

The formula is N = R* x Fp x Ne x Fl x Fi x Fc x L

For which:
R* = number of new stars that form in our galaxy each year
Fp = fraction of stars having planetary systems
Ne = average number of life-supporting planets per star
Fl = fraction of those planets on which life develops
Fi = fraction of life forms that become intelligent
Fc = fraction of intelligent beings that develop radio
L = average lifetime of a communicating society

The formula has appeared in several popular science magazines with the values set to:

N = 10 x 1 x 1 x 1 x 0.01 x 0.1 x L

So, N = 0.01 x L

The only numbers in the formula which anything other than a guess can be made are R* and L. Based on current observations most set R* at 10. Everything else in the formula would be a wild guess, except for L. More is known about L than any other part of the formula, since we are a communication society. Since we receive more and more of our communication from satellites, cable, and the internet, we are broadcasting less and less away from the earth. In the near future we will likely go dark as a significant source of radio/broadcast signals capable of being detected from space. If we say that our source of signals is about 100 years, drop the 100 back into the formula and you get 1. That must be us.

IBM

+ - IBM on its way to cutting 12,000 US jobs

Submitted by
threc
threc writes "July 22nd of last year a rumor started that IBM was planning to move jobs overseas. On May 4th, 7th and the 13th of this year, Slashdot mused about the possible exodus of 12,000 IBM US jobs. On May 30th the rumors, more or less, came true.

"International Business Machines Corp., the world's largest computer-services company, cut about 1,570 jobs mainly in its technology services unit..."

According to Lee Conrad, head of AllianceIBM, this is the low number.

"Information from within the company, retrieved by Conrad and others, points to 1,000 layoffs in IBM's Server Division, 700 in its Software Group, 100 in its Global Financing unit, 360 at corporate headquarters, 300 in its Storage division and more than 2,000 in the company's largest single unit, IBM Global Services."

Tallied up, in May alone, IBM fired nearly 5000 US workers and industry experts expect more layoffs."
Wireless Networking

+ - Google Wants to Play in 700MHz Band

Submitted by
scubacuda
scubacuda writes "The FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is soliciting feedback on Google's proposal for the 700 MHz band spectrum (Word ver), which currently is occupied by broadcasters in TV channels 52-69 and is being made available for wireless services. Google wants (a) the band to allow licensees to utilize "dynamic auction mechanisms", such as real-time auctions and per-device registration fees; (b) to "posit at least whether it would be in the public interest to mandate for some, or even all, of the commercial spectrum to be auctioned in the 700 MHz bands"; and (c) the unpaired 6 megahertz E Block (722-728 MHz) in the current lower 700 MHz band plan to be designated, "primarily or exclusively, for the deployment of broadband communications platforms." (More on the fight for the 700 MHz band here and )"
Security

+ - New paint provides wireless network protection

Submitted by thefickler
thefickler (1030556) writes "Forget WEP and WPA; I'm switching over to the EM-SEC Coating System, a recently announced paint developed by EM-SEC Technologies that acts as an electromagnetic fortress, allowing a wireless network to be contained within painted walls without fear of someone tapping in or hacking wireless networks.

The EM-SEC Coating System is clearly the most secure option aside from stringing out the CAT5, and can be safely used to protect wireless networks in business and government facilities."

"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord

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