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Submission + - Antarctic Ice hits an all-time record high level

dtjohnson writes: "Two weeks after a new record was set in the Arctic Ocean for the least amount of sea ice coverage in the satellite record, the ice surrounding Antarctica reached its highest ever level. Sea ice extended over 19.44 million square kilometers (7.51 million square miles) in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). The previous record of 19.39 million kilometers (7.49 million square miles) was set in 2006." Ice extent is reaching an all-time record high on the bottom of the planet just after ice reached an all-time record low on the top of the planet. What can it mean? Either there will soon be more ice at the top or less ice at the bottom or the planet will become seriously 'bottom heavy.' Now there is something to worry about...

Submission + - Correction No Data Breach of Facebook (slashdot.org)

An anonymous reader writes: This story is incorrect and there is no Facebook data breach. The ability to search for a person by phone number is intentional
behavior and not a bug in Facebook. By default, your privacy settings allow everyone to find you with search and friend finder using the contact info you have provided, such as your email address and phone number. You can modify these settings at any time from the Privacy Settings page.

Facebook has developed an extensive system for preventing the malicious usage of our search functionality and the scenario described by the researcher was indeed rate-limited and eventually blocked. We are constantly updating these systems to improve their effectiveness and address new kinds of attacks.

Facebook

Submission + - Why Do So Many Liberals 'Like' Mitt Romney on Facebook? (vice.com)

pigrabbitbear writes: "Mother Jones reports that "In recent weeks, a host of liberal types have complained that their Facebook accounts have erroneously “liked” Romney’s page, and some are floating the theory that the Romney campaign has deployed a virus or used other nefarious means to inflate the candidate’s online stature. This conspiratorial notion has spawned a Facebook community forum, and its own page: “Hacked By Mitt Romney” (cute url: facebook.com/MittYouDidntBuildThat)"

So what’s going on? Is the Romney campaign engaging in some tech wizardry to hijack Americans’ Facebook pages? Seems unlikely, tech wizardry of any kind coming from the not-so-online-savvy campaign, but Romney did somehow manage to acquire millions of fake Twitter followers. And sure, Romney probably feels a bit envious of Obama’s 30 million ‘likers’, seeing as how he only has 8 million. But it looks like the Romney campaign isn’t behind this one — Facebook and its crappy mobile app is."

Android

Submission + - Microsoft Sues Motorola Over Mapping Patents (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "The mobile patent wars continue, with two of the world's biggest tech companies about to blunder into direct conflict. Microsoft holds a number of patents that it claims give it rights over mobile map applications that overlay data from multiple databases (map info from one database and store location info from another, for instance). Many Android vendors already pay Redmond licensing fees for their mapping apps; now Redmond is going to court in Germany to sue one of the holdouts: Motorola Mobility, which is of course owned by Google."
Canada

Submission + - The quite death of the Internet Survellance Bill (theglobeandmail.com)

mykepredko writes: "C-30, Canada's version of SOPA, would grant the federal government and law enforcement agencies the power to obtain information about individuals who are online without having to apply for a warrant is dead in committee. “I don’t know whether it was because the Minister so screwed up the messaging, or whether they’ve had some other input saying they went too far or it just can’t be salvaged,” Nathan Cullen, House Leader for the NDP, speculates. Read more here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/john-ibbitson-the-quiet-death-of-the-internet-surveillance-bill/article4602164/"
Space

Submission + - Scientists discover nearby 'diamond planet' (extremetech.com) 1

MrSeb writes: "Scientists at Yale University have discovered a nearby super-Earth that is a “diamond planet” — a planet that has a mantle made of graphite and diamond. The planet, called 55 Cancri e, is just 40 light years from Earth and orbits the binary star 55 Cancri, which is located in the constellation of Cancer. When the planet was first observed last year, it was originally thought to be a water planet, similar to Earth, but new information has allowed the scientists to infer that the planet is much more likely to be a diamond planet. The Yale scientists estimate that as much as one third of 55 Cancri e’s mass is made up of diamond — the same as three Earth masses, or roughly 18×1024kg. This is a few trillion times more diamond than has ever been mined on Earth. The identification of just a single diamond-rich planet is massive news. In recent years we have identified hundreds of rocky, Earth-like planets — and until now, we had assumed they had similar make-ups. It is now fairly safe to assume that there are millions of diamond planets in the universe."
Books

Submission + - Court finds in favor of libraries in Google Books affair

cpt kangarooski writes: While it's not a final victory in the long-running Google Books matter, the related case by the Authors' Guild against the universities working with Google in the digitization project has produced a ruling that their book scanning is a fair use. You can read the opinion here. This bodes well for Google's case, although note that this wasn't directly about them.
Government

Submission + - 19,000 emails against and 0 in favour of Draft Communications Bill (computerworlduk.com)

Qedward writes: Open source writer Glyn Moody discusses the Draft Communications Bill (aka Snooper's Charter) in the UK and how the Joint Parliamentary Committee that had been considering the bill received almost 19,000 emails during its consultation period.

He notes: "Out of 19,000 emails received by the Committee on the subject of the proposed Draft Communications Bill, not a single one was in favour of it, or even agreed with its premise. Has there ever been a bill so universally rejected by the public in a consultation? Clearly, it must be thrown out completely."...

Unfortunately the link to the consultation document itself is also now broken.

Businesses

Submission + - New Zealand turning Hobbits into cash, literally (cbsnews.com)

Curseyoukhan writes: "With its economy struggling, New Zealand hopes to cash in on "The Hobbit" by turning it into actual cash. The nation is releasing special commemorative coins depicting characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved book. The coin release coincides with the premiere of the first installment in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the book. It is also part of a publicity campaign aimed to rebrand the country "100 percent Middle Earth.""

Submission + - Prince of Sealand dies (guardian.co.uk)

jdavidb writes: 46 years ago, occupying an abandoned WWII platform off the coast of Britain, Paddy Roy Bates declared independence, naming himself Prince of the Principality of Sealand. Today, Bates has passed away at 91.

Long time Slashdot readers will remember Sealand as the site of HavenCo, an unsuccessful data warehousing company that tried to operate from Sealand outside the reach of larger nations' legal structures. They may also remember plans that the Pirate Bay had at one time to buy Sealand.

Bates had moved to a care home a few years ago, naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand.

Linux

Submission + - Linux Developers Still Reject NVIDIA Using DMA-BUF (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Many Linux laptop users are quick to bash NVIDIA over their lack of proper Optimus support. In August NVIDIA confirmed they were working on NVIDIA Optimus Linux support. As part of their Optimus Linux implementation they want to use DMA-BUF for the multi-GPU interactions just like the open-source drivers, so that they can all work together. Unfortunately, the developers of the linux kernel prevent NVIDIA to finish their implementation by not allowing non-GPL drivers to use this unified buffer sharing infrastructure.

Should NVIDIA use the F-word to respond to their intransigence ?

Security

Submission + - Conficker worm still being tracked, but evidence collection slows (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: The notorious malware known as the Conficker worm still infects computers, a sort of wild horse with no rider, but investigators appear no closer to finding its creator. Also known as "Downandup," Conficker was discovered in November 2008, exploiting a vulnerability in Windows XP that allowed remote file execution when file-sharing was enabled. Microsoft patched it a month later. At its peak, Conficker infected upwards of 7 million computers, and Microsoft still ranks Conficker as the second-most prevalent malware family on domain-joined computers. Security researchers with the Conficker Working Group along with vendors including Microsoft successfully cut off the Conficker's operators from the botnet, but the group is still working to try to find Conficker's master. The problem is that botnet operators have stayed away from Conficker and not tried to reclaim it, a welcome development but one that leaves researchers with a lack of fresh electronic leads. "Well, we sort of won in that regard," , said Jose Nazario, a malware researcher. "On the other hand, if they're not interacting with it, there's no more evidence coming in."
Businesses

Submission + - WikiLeaks Angers Supporters With Donation 'Paywall' For Leaked Material (forbes.com)

concealment writes: "As of Wednesday night, the secret-spilling site now shows a “paywall” to any visitor who clicks on one of its leaked documents, including the 13,374 emails from the private intelligence firm Stratfor that it published earlier in the day along with the teaser that the messages regarded presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The pop-up message that blocks access to the site’s content shows a video parodying Barack Obama’s stump speeches and asking visitors to instead “vote for WikiLeaks” by making a donation to the site or buying its promotional gear like tote bags and hoodies."

Google

Submission + - Court rules book scanning is fair use, suggesting Google Books victory (arstechnica.com)

concealment writes: "Now a judge has ruled that the libraries who have provided Google with their books to scan are protected by copyright's fair use doctrine. While the decision doesn't guarantee that Google will win—that's still to be decided in a separate lawsuit—the reasoning of this week's decision bodes well for Google's case.

Most of the books Google scans for its book program come from libraries. After Google scans each book, it provides a digital image and a text version of the book to the library that owns the original. The libraries then contribute the digital files to a repository called the Hathitrust Digital Library, which uses them for three purposes: preservation, a full-text search engine, and electronic access for disabled patrons who cannot read the print copies of the books."

Hardware

Submission + - Google creating a "Nexus Call Center" for device support (geek.com)

An anonymous reader writes: One of the big complaints surrounding the Nexus 7 launch was the lack of customer support when dealing with the device. Google was not initially prepared to handle the volume of users that required support, which led to an increase in wait time for callers who needed solutions.

However, we’ve recently received word from a source that now Google is using a third party company to staff a call center for the release of the next Nexus devices.

Firefox

Submission + - Firefox 16 pulled due to Security Vulnerability

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla has removed Firefox 16 from it's installer page due to security vulnerabilities that, if exploited, could allow "a malicious site to potentially determine which websites users have visited"...one of temporary work-around, until a fix is released, is to downgrade to 15.0.1
Iphone

Submission + - iPhone hacker dream team edges closer to iOS6 jailbreak (computerworld.com)

SternisheFan writes: "-A trio known for their prowess in hacking Apple's iPhone software indicated on Thursday they may be edging closer to breaking the improved security measures in iOS 6. The hackers, who spoke at the Hack in the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur, are famous for "jailbreaking" the iPhone's software, the term for using combinations of exploits to allow the installation of unauthorized software. Apple dislikes the practice, which is legal in the U.S. but can void warranties for modified devices. The release of a new jailbreak is highly anticipated among the select group of iPhone users who resent the company's careful gatekeeping of applications it allows in its App Store.
    But the process for creating a jailbreak has become much more difficult with each iteration of Apple's iPhone software, and many of the old tricks used to create jailbreak software in the past simply don't work anymore. French hacker Cyril, known by his Twitter handle "@pod2g," admitted that iOS6 so far has him stumped. "At the moment, I'm kind of stuck ... but it could change in a week," said Cyril. "It's luck, I think." It's more than luck: creating a jailbreak is a highly technical, skillful process, and one that requires hours and hours of testing. Cyril spoke on the panel with David "@planetbeing" Wang and another famed broad-shouldered hacker who goes by pseudonym "@Musclenerd" on Twitter."

Security

Submission + - Ultra sensitive sensor technology can detect human breathing

An anonymous reader writes: OKI recently developed a human-detecting sensor technology capable of distinguishing between large movements (for example, a person walking about a room) to minute movements like breathing. This technology can detect even the minute movements of otherwise motionless persons, making it suitable for use in various applications, including advance warnings of health problems. OKI is currently seeking to apply this technology to areas ranging from security to the monitoring of elderly or people requiring long-term care.
Google

Submission + - Google maps gets 250k Streetview update (slashgear.com)

SternisheFan writes: "Google Maps has been updated with what’s described as the “biggest ever” increase in Street View photography, with more than 250,000 miles of road around the world gaining street-level imagery. Street View coverage has been boosted in eleven countries, while new “special collections” of photography –giving more insight into particular landmarks –have been added to over six new locations.
    The new sidewalk-level images have been added to roads in the US, the UK, Macau, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, Denmark, Norway and Canada. Meanwhile, there are special collections in South Africa, Japan, Spain, France, Brazil and Mexico, among other locations, for instance the Ferapontov monastery in Russia and the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taiwan. Google has also sent its cameras inside some landmarks, so you can now step into Kronborg castle in Denmark, for instance. The search giant uses a combination of Street View photography cars, bikes, and even individually-work camera backpacks to gather its footage. Support for viewing Street View on mobile devices has been contentious in recent weeks, with Apple’s decision to oust Google Maps from iOS 6 and replace it with its own Apple Maps app meaning iPhone 5 and other iOS device users lost the ability to see street-level images. Google re-added access by updating its webapp, however, and has promised a native version of Google Maps for iOS by the end of the year."

Security

Submission + - Spying Case: Floppy Drive not dead yet! (www.cbc.ca)

An anonymous reader writes: The details of a Canadian Spying case are coming to light; including the method of copying the sensitive data from the "secured" computer linking five countries and the russian handlers. Copy Data into Notepad -> Save File to Floppy Drive -> USB Key -> ??? -> Profit. For $3000/mo in prepaid credit cards and wire transfers.

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