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The Military

Submission + - US Marine Corps bans Web 2.0 ( 1

DesScorp writes: "The Marines have banned social networking sites like Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook from all USMC networks, effectively immediately. "These internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries," reads a Marine Corps order, issued Monday. "The very nature of SNS [social network sites] creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC [operational security], COMSEC [communications security], [and] personnel... at an elevated risk of compromise." Wired's Danger Room blog notes that the ban is effective for one year, and that social networking advocates within the Pentagon argue that Web 2.0 sites provide a valuable means of communication and support for the military."
The Internet

Submission + - Researchers Say Wikipedia May Be in Slow Decline

Hugh Pickens writes: "New research shows that Wikipedia's ascendancy to the top of a large pool of online reference sites has come to an end as growth has leveled and the nature of the community has made it less welcoming to new contributors. "It's easy to say that Wikipedia will always be here," says Dr. Ed Chi, a senior scientist at the Palo Alto Research Center. "This research shows that is not a given." While the site is still wildly popular for those trying to figure out who played in Super Bowl XXII, the name of Pink Floyd's original frontman, or how a convection oven works, the explosive growth that characterized its early years leveled in 2006 at around 60,000 new articles per month, declining by nearly a third since then. But the trends within the community itself are far more troublesome. The year after the amount of new content flattened, the number of edits per month plateaued as well at around 5.5 million. Meanwhile, the number of users making edits leveled off at around 750,000 monthly. Data also suggests the Wikipedia community is becoming resistant to new content and new editors with passive editors who make just a single change per month seeing around a quarter of their changes erased or modified by other, more active editors. "This is evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content," says Chi. The resulting exclusion of more varied contributions shifts the balance of power on Wikipedia to those fewer active editors, and in turn could make Wikipedia more like a fraternity than a community-driven social encyclopedia. Wikipedia's growth "is consistent with a growth processes that hits a constraint — for instance, due to resource limitations in systems," writes Chi. "Rather than exponential growth, such systems display logistic growth.""

Submission + - 3D Images Reconstructed of 300M Year Old Spiders

Hugh Pickens writes: "Scientists at Imperial College London have created detailed 3D computer models of two fossilized specimens of ancient creatures called Cryptomartus hindi and Eophrynus prestvicii, closely related to modern-day spiders. The researchers created their images by using a CT scanning device, which enabled them to take 3,000 x-rays of each fossil then compile them into precise 3D models, using custom-designed software. Both spiders roamed the Earth before the dinnosaurs during the Carboniferous period, 359 — 299 million years ago when life was emerging from the oceans to live on land. C. hindi's front pair of legs were angled toward the front, suggesting they were used to grapple with prey, an "ambush predator" like the modern-day crab spider, lying in wait for prey to come close. Another finding from the models is that E. prestivicii had hard spikes along its back, probably as a defensive measure making it less palatable to the amphibians that would have hunted it. "Our models almost bring these ancient creatures back to life and it's really exciting to be able to look at them in such detail," says researcher Russel Garwood adding that the technique could be used to return to fossils that have previously been analyzed by conventional means. "Our study helps build a picture of what was happening during this period early in the history of life on land.""

Submission + - Personal data on 131k Army Guard troops lost. (

gandhi_2 writes: "

Approximately 131,000 current and former Army National Guard members could be affected by a recent data loss, which occurred when a personal laptop owned by an Army Guard contractor was stolen.

The stolen laptop contained personal information on Soldiers enrolled in the Army National Guard Bonus and Incentives Program. The type of data includes names, Social Security Numbers, incentive payment amounts and payment dates.

Those 131k troops could probably tell you: unless deadly force was used to "steal" it, it wasn't stolen. Someone just left it unsecured."


Submission + - 24-hrs later, Sony removes ad from WipEout HD (

Ifandbut writes: "From Kotaku:

The people have spoken. Spoken angrily. And Sony have listened, removing the worst of the in-game advertising from WipeOut HD only 24 hours after it was first officially announced.
"The ad has been removed from WipEout HD", a Sony rep told Eurogamer, "and we are investigating the situation to ensure that any in-game advertising does not affect gameplay".
Note this doesn't mean all advertising in the game has been removed; only the ad that was causing the annoying, increased load times.

It appears to be only one ad. The State Farm ad which appeared to increase the loading times by as much as 10 seconds as seen here:"


Submission + - Expedition to Explore Texas Size Plastic 'Island' 1

Peace Corps Online writes: "BBC reports that an expedition called Project Kaisei leaves this month bound for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch a huge "island" of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean estimated to be twice the size of Texas to study the impact of the waste on marine life. "Every piece of trash that is left on a beach or ends up in our rivers or estuaries and washes out to the sea is an addition to the problem, so we need people to be the solution," says Ryan Yerkey, the project's chief of operations. The garbage patch occupies a large and relatively stationary region of the North Pacific Ocean bound by the North Pacific Gyre, a remote area commonly referred to as the horse latitudes. The rotational pattern created by the North Pacific Gyre draws in waste material from across the North Pacific Ocean, including the coastal waters off North America and Japan. As material is captured in the currents, wind-driven surface currents gradually move floating debris toward the center, trapping it in the region. "You are talking about quite a bit of marine debris but it's not a solid mass," adds Yerkley. "Twenty years from now we can't be harvesting the ocean for trash. We need to get it out but we need to also have people make those changes in their lives to stop the problem from growing and hopefully reverse the course.""

Submission + - Pirate Bay's IPREDator not a place to hide (

schliz writes: The Pirate Bay's new IPREDator anonymity service could be insufficiently secure for several use cases — for example, political activism in countries like Iran. The service uses PPTP, which has several known vulnerabilities, and according to IPREDator co-founder Peter Sunde, "can probably be broken by someone that can eavesdrop on the traffic".

The service was announced as a political statement in April and entered beta testing last week.


Submission + - Unions may lobby UK Govt. to make ISPs to reg. P2P (

An anonymous reader writes: The UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) will vote in September on a motion requesting that the UK Government force ISPs to take legal action (PDF) to prevent their customers from engaging in what they call illegal distribution of content over their networks.

From the motion P70 of the preliminary agenda proposed by the Broadcasting, Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU):

"Congress believes: 1. internet service providers should now be required to take stronger action against the illegal distribution of content over their networks 2. internet service providers should therefore be required to send warning notices to offenders and to take additional graduated measures to prevent illegal downloading by individuals who ignore multiple warnings 3. such measures should be introduced by means of enabling legislation.

Congress believes this is an issue of preserving workers' jobs and that internet service providers should not be allowed to pursue their ruthless commercial interests under the cover of false and misleading justifications based on freedom of information. Congress therefore calls on the General Council to campaign for the Government to take early and effective action to introduce and implement such measures."

All TUC affiliated unions will be voting on this matter at the TUC's conference starting the 12th of September. If you are a member of a trade union, you can ask your National Executives and General Secretaries not to support the motion.


Submission + - Can we abandon Confidentiality for Google Apps? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I provide IT services for medium sized medical and law practices and have been getting a lot of feedback from doctors and lawyers who use gmail at home and believe that they can run a significant portion of their practice IT on Google Apps. From a support standpoint, I'd be happy to chuck mail/calendar service management into the bin and let them run with gmail, but for these businesses, there is significant legal liability associated with the confidentiality of their communications and records (eg HIPPA).

For those with high profile celebrity clients, stating that "Google employees can read your stuff" will usually end the conversation right there, but for smaller practices I often get a lot of pushback in the form of "What's wrong with trusting Google?" and "Google's not interested in our email/calendar". Weighing what they see as a tiny legal risk against the promise of Free IT Stuff(TM) becomes increasingly difficult in the face of the clear functionality/usability/ubiquity that they experience when using Google at home. So my question to the Slashdot community is this:

Are they right? Is it time for me to remove the Tin Foil Hat from their confidentiality obligations and stop resisting the juggernaut that is Google?
If not, what's the best way to clarify the confidentiality issues?
Data Storage

Submission + - Pool: How many hard disk partitions do you use? 2

JonMerel writes: Pool: How many hard disk partitions are there on your primary computer?

1 We are in 2009, why partition anymore?
1 for each hard disk because my OS forces me to.
2 The system and my data separated
3 System, data, swap
4 or more (specify)
0 I am not using a file based OS

Submission + - Intel: donate your idle CPU time to research (

RobbieB writes: "Chipzilla has kicked off a new campaign which allows users to donate idle time on their processors for research efforts. The new initiative is called 'Progress Thru Processors', is being promoted via a Facebook site and aims to divert idle computing time to the Rosetta@Home distributed computing project, the project and the Africa@Home Malaria research effort. For more ideas, Liz Tay recommends five other things to do with an idle CPU here."

Submission + - Unethical Private ISP ( 2

An anonymous reader writes: I've backed myself into a corner this semester: I signed a lease for an apartment without first researching which ISP's were available there. It turns out that one company, NTC Cable, has a monopoly on the ethernet wired in the building. Since they are my only option for cable internet, I read up on their policies. Apparently, they charge by the connection to each room of the apartment; at the time of writing their rate is ~$32/month and routers are against their Terms of Service. This means that in order for my roommates and I to connect our four laptops we would be paying in excess of $120/month. NTC also states that gaming devices and handhelds also need their own connection. This is ridiculous and ought to be considered usury; I'm wondering what recourse I have in this matter. How might they be detecting individual devices, and how might I circumvent this detection. I thought of using an old desktop as a wireless access point and routing our laptops through that, but would that be detectable?

Submission + - SPAM: Bruce Sterling laughs at "Singularity Food Fig

destinyland writes: "It's being called the Transhumanist/Singularitian Political Food Fight. PayPal founder Peter Thiel wrote "I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible" in an essay published by the libertarian CATO Institute — prompting a disclaimer from the Singularity Institute for Advanced Intelligence. (Thiel also helps fund the SIAI, but the organization insists they're not exclusively for libertarians). Mike Treder, who heads the Center for Responsible Technology, argued "no more libertarians" and criticized the SIAI for claiming neutrality toward the controversy. And Bruce Sterling simply asked why "these advanced conceptualists arguing about suffrage for Artificial Intelligences?" and called the whole discussion "Transhuman, Singularitarian, and Cranky""
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