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Piracy

Call of Duty: Black Ops the Most Pirated Game of the Year 5

Posted by Soulskill
from the five-button-discount dept.
Torrentfreak reports that after calculating download frequency for pirated copies of popular video games, Call of Duty: Black Ops has won the dubious honor of being the most pirated game of 2010. The PC version of the game was torrented roughly 4,270,000 times, and the Xbox 360 version was downloaded an additional 930,000 times. (The most pirated Wii game was Super Mario Galaxy 2, and Dante's Inferno somehow managed to accrue the most downloads of Xbox 360 games.) Fortunately for Activision, the game has still made over $1 billion in sales, and its 20,000,000+ players have racked up over 600,000,000 man-hours of play time since the game's launch in early November.
The Military

+ - Could Terrorists Get Hold of a Nuclear Bomb? 2

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "BBC reports that Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a former investigator with the CIA and the DOE who led US efforts to determine whether al-Qaeda possessed a nuclear bomb in the wake of 9/11, says there are three headlines that keep him awake at night: Pakistani 'loose nukes' in the hands of terrorists, North Korea supplies terrorists with nuclear bombs, and Al-Qaeda launches nuclear attack. While the good news is that Mowatt-Larssen thinks "the odds are stacked against" terrorists acquiring a nuclear bomb, the low probability has to be weighed against the awfulness of the consequences. In Mowatt-Larssen's view, there is "a greater possibility of a nuclear meltdown in Pakistan than anywhere else in the world" because the region has more violent extremists than any other, the country is unstable, and its arsenal of nuclear weapons is expanding. While Mowatt-Larssen says the possibility of a Taliban takeover is a "worst-case scenario," Al-Qaeda's experience on the nuclear black market has taught its planners that its best chance lies in constructing an "improvised nuclear device (IND)," using a quantity of plutonium or 25kg- to 50kg of highly enriched uranium (HEU), the size of one or two grapefruits. HEU is held in hundreds of buildings in dozens of countries. "Security measures for many of these stocks are excellent, but security for others is appalling," according to a report published in 2008 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative and there is no global inventory of either material, so no-one can be sure how much has gone missing over the years. "It is a stark and worrying fact, therefore, that nuclear materials and weapons around the world are not as secure as they should be," writes Ian Kearns, Research Director of the British-American Security Information Council, adding that the future of nuclear security hangs on this week's summit in Washington."

+ - Ask Slashdot: DC Power Datacenter 1

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Having worked in datacenters for many years I can tell you that the heat generated by the power supplies (AC-DC transformer) of the servers does turn up a notch or two on the cooling cost.

I've read news about some experimental datacenters which run on DC power but I've never been into any of them, hence, I am asking the /. community:

Is there any advantage on having a DC-power datacenter over the conventional one? And if there is, is there any quantifiable advantage in term of efficieny — both in term of the energy efficiency and the less-heat generated by the PSUs (less cooling cost)?

There are many articles online talking about the advantages of DC-power datacenters, I'd like to know the downside too, if any.

Thank you !"
Security

+ - NSA Develops USB Storage Device Detector 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Bob Brewin writes on NextGov that the National Security Agency has developed a software tool that detects thumb drives or other flash media connected to a network. The NSA says the tool, called the USBDetect 3.0 Computer Network Defense Tool, provides "network administrators and system security officials with an automated capability to detect the introduction of USB storage devices into their networks. This tool closes potential security vulnerabilities; a definite success story in the pursuit of the [Defense Department] and NSA protect information technology system strategic goals." The tool gathers data from the registry on Microsoft Windows machines (PDF) and reports whether storage devices, such as portable music or video players, external hard drives, flash drives, jump drives, and thumb drives have been connected to the USB port. "I have a hunch that a bunch of other agencies use the detection software," writes Brewin, "so before you stick a thumb drive into your government computer to copy a 100 slide PowerPoint brief, beware that Software Big Brother may be watching.""
Government

+ - Feds Question Big Media's Piracy Claims->

Submitted by WrongSizeGlass
WrongSizeGlass (838941) writes "CNET is reporting that the GAO's study (summary; highlights [PDF]; full report [PDF]) of big media's piracy claims raised some questions. "After spending a year studying how piracy and illegal counterfeiting affects the United States, the Government Accountability Office says it still doesn't know for sure." "The GAO said that most of the published information, anecdotal evidence and records show that piracy is a drag on the U.S. economy, tax revenue and in some cases potentially threatens national security and public health. But the problem is, according to the GAO, the data used to quantify piracy isn't reliable.""
Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - Researchers Identify Source of Brain Consciousness->

Submitted by destinyland
destinyland (578448) writes "New research identifies how patterns of electrical activity create the inner state known as "consciousness". Using EEG (brain-wave sensing) and MRI measurements, researchers found evidence for the "global workspace theory" that pre-conscious perceptions are then broadcast into the brain's neural network. Researchers correlated activity there with known levels of brain functioning observed in both healthy volunteers and those with brain damage. Among other applications, this research could eventually be used to predict who will recover from a coma."
Link to Original Source
Medicine

+ - Scientists discover the cure for melanoma-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have found a drug that specifically targets cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In trials, as many as 16% of patients with advanced melanoma with less than 9 months to live recovered completely and remained cancer free for the past 4 years. Licensing is expected to be fast-tracked and we should expect to see it on the market within 5 years — providing sunblock manufacturing conglomerates do not attempt to put a lid on this discovery."
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - Cell Phones to Sniff Out Deadly Chemicals 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Science Daily reports that Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate's Cell-All is an initiative to equip cell phones with a sensor capable of detecting deadly chemicals. A chip costing less than a dollar would be embedded in cell phones and programmed to either alert the cell phone carrier to the presence of toxic chemicals in the air, and/or a central station that can monitor how many alerts in an area are being received. While one alert might be a false positive, hundreds would indicate the need for evacuation. "Our goal is to create a lightweight, cost-effective, power-efficient solution," says Stephen Dennis, Cell-All's program manager. Does this always-on surveillance mean that the government can track your precise whereabouts whenever it wants? On the contrary, DHS says Cell-All will operate only on an opt-in basis and will transmit data anonymously. "Privacy is as important as technology," says Dennis. "After all, for Cell-All to succeed, people must be comfortable enough to turn it on in the first place." Dennis hopes to have 40 prototypes in about a year, the first of which will sniff out carbon monoxide and fire and commercialization may take several years."
The Internet

+ - Is Internet Porn Creating a Damaged Generation? 6

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Dr. Terri Apter writes in the Independent that estimates are that 12 per cent of five- to seven-year-olds and 16 per cent of eight- to 17-year-olds have unintentionally stumbled onto some of the estimated 250 million pages of pornography on the internet, while 38 per cent of older teens admit to seeking out such sites. And what they find is a far cry from the magazines their parents might have stashed under their mattresses when they were teens writes Apter adding that a passing curiosity may be easily satisfied and the interest abandoned but that sexual images have a special vividness and power and may become addictive. The Witherspoon report makes it clear that countless women — and increasingly many men — have experienced the devastating effects of pornography addiction on their marriages and a report from NPR by an anonymous psychologist reports how her marriage was destroyed by her husband's addiction which began when he was about 10 years old and which she characterizes as "a drug so powerful it can destroy a family simply by distorting a man's perception of his wife and so lethal it may have the potential to render an entire generation incapable of forming lasting marriages." "Countless women — and increasingly many men — have experienced the devastating effects of their spouse's pornography use," writes the author. "Countless more will experience it in the future. It is our obligation as a nation to pursue the truth for their sake, no matter how inconvenient for some the verdict may be.""
Science

+ - Recession proof -- red light ticket revenue->

Submitted by NicknamesAreStupid
NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "A Fort Meyers news station reports a nerdy husband getting his wife out of a red-light ticket by proving the light was set with too short of a yellow. Then he goes out and proves that nearly 90% of the lights are set an average of about 20% too short. Is this an local incident, or have local governments nationwide found a new revenue source? What puzzles me is how a single picture can tell if you ran a light. If you are in the intersection before the light turns red, you have not run it, even if it takes a little while to clear it (say to yield to an unexpected obstacle). Wouldn't you need two pictures — one just before the light went red showing you are NOT in the intersection, and another after the light went red showing you in the intersection?"
Link to Original Source
Businesses

GameStop, Other Retailers Subpoenaed Over Credit Card Information Sharing 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-can-trust-us dept.
New York State's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, has subpoenaed a number of online retailers, including GameStop, Barnes & Noble, Ticketmaster and Staples, over the way they pass information to marketing firms while processing transactions. MSNBC explains the scenario thus: "You're on the site of a well-known retailer and you make a purchase. As soon as you complete the transaction a pop-up window appears. It offers a discount on your next purchase. Click on the ad and you are automatically redirected to another company's site where you are signed up for a buying club, travel club or credit card protection service. The yearly cost is usually $100 to $145. Here's where things really get smarmy. Even though you did not give that second company any account information, they will bill the credit or debit card number you used to make the original purchase. You didn't have to provide your account number because the 'trusted' retailer gave it to them for a cut of the action." While there is no law preventing this sort of behavior, Cuomo hopes the investigation will pressure these companies to change their ways, or at least inform customers when their information might be shared.

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