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Privacy

Submission + - LAPD Plans to "Map" Muslims

eggoeater writes: AP and others are reporting about the backlash to a plan by the LAPD's counterterrorism bureau to "map" Muslims in and around LA.
From the article:

The LAPD's counterterrorism bureau plans to identify Muslim enclaves in order to determine which might be likely to become isolated and susceptible to "violent, ideologically based extremism," said Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing on Thursday.
"We want to know where the Pakistanis, Iranians and Chechens are so we can reach out to those communities," said Downing, who heads the counterterrorism bureau.
Understandably, the ACLU and many Muslim organizations are upset over this, but amazingly one organization, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, has offered to work with the LAPD on the project. I'm sure the federal government wouldn't dream of using this data in conjunction with other projects to track, er, I mean "map" Muslims.
Moon

Submission + - Japanese Lunar Probe Returns First HDTV Video (www.jaxa.jp) 3

Riding with Robots writes: "The Kaguya probe, now in lunar orbit, has sent down the first footage of the moon's surface from its onboard high-definition TV camera. The Kaguya mission, which consists of a main orbiter and two smaller satellites in a 100-km-high, polar orbit, is slated to officialy begin its science phase in December."
Privacy

Submission + - Scary New Book on Privacy (gwu.edu)

pasquafa writes: "Dan Solove earlier showed us why "I've Got Nothing to Hide" is a foolish reason to brush off privacy concerns. Now his book The Future of Reputation shows us that we've all got a lot to fear from new surveillance technologies. In past articles, Solove's done a great job advocating for individual rights against big data aggregators like Choicepoint, banks, and the government. His latest book breaks new ground because it focuses on a harder issue: how to deal with Web 2.0's swarm of privacy-invading individuals. When it comes to privacy, we may well be our own worst enemies. Against the tide of knee-jerk libertarianism, Solove demonstrates that there are some baseline norms that should govern the spread of personally identifiable information, gossip, and rumors. He even offers hope that the blogosphere can become a more fair, decent, and perhaps even public-minded place."
Operating Systems

Submission + - Final word on Linux improvements to OpenBSD's ar5k

Communications

Submission + - St. Paul considers fiber optic network (twincities.com)

theorem4 writes: "St. Paul city council is considering the idea to build a fiber optic network. While Minneapolis already has Wi-Fi, a fiber optic network would "turn St. Paul into America's most connected city." The two broadband providers, Qwest and Comcast, oppose the plan, using the $200 million price tag as their argument. "In general, we don't think it is appropriate for the government to use taxpayer dollars to offer or subsidize a service in competition with private-sector alternatives, and high-speed Internet service is a particularly competitive and robust market in most areas," Comcast spokeswoman Mary Beth Schubert said."
Databases

Submission + - Advanced PDF management?

chrysrobyn writes: I find myself in the situation where I must store hundreds or possibly thousands of pieces of paper for later review and classification. I can't spend the time now to properly organize them (that definition may even change later anyway), or even seperate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak. I would like to feed it all to a sheet feeding scanner (I see them in Fry's for a few hundred dollars; some even come with free laser scanners), dump to PDF, then be able to reorder pages, drag pages to new PDF files, trash individual pages, etc. Duplicating a page would be a bonus. PDF is appealing because of the storage of the original sheet plus the OCR is generally good enough for searching.

Long story: My father in law passed away a few years ago, and he was the kind of guy who did everything on his own, at his own pace, and to nobody else's rules. Since his passing, my wife and I have wasted hundreds of hours (maybe more), trying to clean up and move on. Lawyers and a CPA have been involved, and without getting into the really long version, there is a whole lot we should really keep for our own purposes in the future (digital copies are okay, originals can be properly disposed of). Papers the professionals didn't require are vastly disorganized, occasionally sorted by year.
I don't do windows. Mac is preferred, but I personally have more experience with Linux. I've looked at DEVONthink, but it doesn't have the ability to trade pages between PDFs. I like Yep's tag feature, and can instantly come up with a dozen uses for that, but again, I can't organize an individual page somewhere. Adobe itself seems very intent on individual documents, not assisting with a database of them, or organizing between them.
Has the Slashdot audience seen anything like this?
Space

Submission + - French Threat to ID Secret US Satellites (beskerming.com)

SkiifGeek writes: "Space.com has reported that the French have identified numerous objects in orbit that do not appear in the ephemeris data reported by the US Space Surveillance Network. Since the US has claimed that if it doesn't appear in the ephemeris data, then it doesn't exist, and the French claim that at least some of the objects have solar arrays, it seems that the French have found secret US satellites.

While the French don't plan to release the information publicly, they are planning to use it as leverage to get the US to suppress reporting of sensitive French satellites in their published ephemeris.

The Graves surveillance radar (the French system) and a comparable German system may form the basis of a pan-European Space Surveillance network — another system that the Europeans don't want to rely on the US for."

Education

Submission + - Alex The Grey Parrot, Colleague of Irene Pepperber (scienceblogs.com)

grrlscientist writes: "Yesterday, I received the devastating news that Alex the African Grey parrot, who was both a study subject and colleague to Irene Pepperberg, died unexpectedly at 31 years of age.

From the Story: Even though Alex was a research animal, he was much more than that. This species of parrot generally lives to be 50-60 years old, so Alex was only middle-aged when he died. According to some reports I have read, it is possible that Alex might have succumbed to Aspergillosis, a fungal infection of the lungs that he has battled in the past. However, the cause of death will not be known until after a necropsy has been completed tomorrow. A necropsy is an autopsy that is performed on an animal. Alex's veterinarian is returning from vacation to personally conduct this necrospy."

Security

Submission + - Terrorist websites down (cnn.com)

sufijazz writes: "CNN's Kelli Arena reports that "all of the sites that we usually turn to for videos like this are down — they've been down all day." She goes on to say "...who's doing that is a matter of much speculation...some experts thought that maybe it was the government because they knew that the tape was coming and so they interfered and hacked into those sites and put them down.""
Wireless Networking

Submission + - "Free" wireless broadband sparks "free (pressesc.com)

Enormous Coward writes: "A company that wants to offer "free" filtered Internet over unused TV spectrum band has hit back at criticism that its service is "free as in beer" but not "free as in speech". M2Z Networks (M2Z) today announced that in just the past 15 working days over 1,000 individuals from forty-nine states have written to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting M2Z's pending application. Public Interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) opposes the application on the grounds that, although M2Z's application could provide significant benefits to the American people, "the proposed license conditions do not adequately ensure that M2Z would operate under open device rules or network neutrality rules of sufficient stringency to confer the full benefits of innovation and free expression to the public.""
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - New Method to Detect and Prove GPL Violations (uni-sb.de)

qwerty writes: A paper at the upcoming academic conference Automated Software Engineering presents a new method to detect code theft and could be used to detect GPL violations in particular. While the co-called birthmarking method is demonstrated for Java, it is general enough to work for other languages as well. The API Benchmark observes the interaction between an application and (dynamic) libraries that are part of the runtime system. This captures the observable behavior of the program and cannot be easily foiled using code obfuscation techniques, as shown in the paper. Once such a birthmark is captured, it can be searched for in other programs. By capturing the birthmarks from popular open-source frameworks, GPL-violating applications could be identified.
Businesses

Submission + - Unix Admin's Unit of Production? 4

RailGunSally writes: I am a (strictly technical) member of a large *NIX systems admin team at a Fortune 150. Our new IT Management Overlord is a hardcore beancounter from Hell. We in the trenches have been tasked with providing "metrics" on absolutely everything from system utilization to paperclip recycling. Of course, measuring productivity is right up there at the top of the list. We're stumped as to a definition of the basic unit of productivity for a *nix admin. There is a school of thought in our group that holds that if the PHBs are simple enough to want to operate purely from pie charts and spreadsheets, then we should just graph some output from /dev/random and have done with it. I personally love the idea, but I feel the need for due diligence, so I put the question to the Slashdotters: How does one reasonably quantify admin productivity?

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