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The Military

Ask Slashdot: Working As an IT Contractor In a War Zone? 352

Capt. Picklepants writes "I have been feeling malaise about the IT and technical job market in the United States. I'm interested in doing some IT work for our government in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa. I've heard it pays very well. Got any advice, or pointers, aside from the usual combing corporate websites and social networking?"
The Military

Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure 885

wiredmikey writes with this excerpt from a Wall Street Journal report: "The U.S. ushered in a new CIA-led counterterrorism program in Yemen on Friday, sending unmanned aircraft to kill an American-born cleric who occupied a top place on the U.S.'s anti-terrorist list. The death of Anwar al-Awlaki eliminates a leading figure in Yemen's branch of al Qaeda and one of its most charismatic recruiters. A Web-savvy Islamic preacher with sparkling English, Mr. Awlaki was known for his ability to couch extremist views in ways that appealed to Western youth. He had been linked to suspects in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree and the botched bombing of a Detroit-bound jet that Christmas."
Facebook

'Superpoke' To Be No More, Thanks To Google 97

angry tapir writes "Apparently the age of 'superpoking' social network friends and throwing sheep at them is coming to a close. Google plans to shut down the social applications developed by Slide, a company it acquired a year ago for US$182 million. Slide products include SuperPoke, and photo management and decorating tools like Slideshow and FunPix. Slide's applications like Slideshow were very popular on MySpace during its heyday, and found success on other social networking sites, including Facebook, where the sheep-throwing feature of SuperPoke caught on, entertaining and annoying many."
Image

+Pool Would Let New Yorkers Go River Swimming 133

cylonlover writes "Three young entrepreneurs have proposed a way of getting New Yorkers into the Hudson, East and/or Bronx Rivers. It's called the +Pool (Plus Pool) — a public swimming pool that would float in the river, allowing people to swim in filtered river water. River water would flow into the pool through permeable walls, which would be composed of three layers filtering out the river nasties."
Earth

Volcano Erupts In Iceland 191

Reports are coming in that a volcano in Iceland called Grimsvotn has erupted, sending plumes of smoke 15km into the air. It was accompanied by a series of earthquakes, but all of them have been minor so far, and scientists don't believe the eruption will cause problems for air travel like 2010's Eyjafjallajokull event. Local coverage in Icelandic is available, as well as early pictures of the eruption.
The Courts

Apple: an 'App Store' Is Not a Store For Apps 279

recoiledsnake writes "What would be your first guess about what an app store sells? Don't be fooled, Apple warns, the phrase 'app store' is not generic and can only be used to describe Cupertino's... um, app store? 'Apple denies that, based on their common meaning, the words "app store" together denote a store for apps,' Apple said in a Thursday filing with a California district court. All this notwithstanding that Jobs himself used the phrase generically while referring to Android app stores. We've previously discussed this ongoing legal battle."
Hardware Hacking

Micro-SD Card Slot Abused As VGA-Port 77

dvdkhlng writes "The Ben NanoNote open-source hand-held computer has often been criticized for not being very extensible hardware-wise. A community effort now starts to challenge this by shipping the so-called UBB board, which plugs into the micro-SD port, making 6 I/O lines available to hardware hackers. The most impressive use so far is this VGA port implemented by just a few resistors, with signal-generation mostly controlled by software. The guy who did this calls it an 'unexpected capability.' Schematics and source code are available under the GPL."
NASA

Cracker-Size Satellites To Launch With Endeavour 70

Obfiscator writes with news of the upcoming deployment of satellite-on-a-chip devices measuring just 3.8cm x 3.8cm x 0.2cm. The satellites are set to launch with Endeavour on its final flight. "These three miniature satellites are being launched as a proof-of-concept. As such, they're being deployed in very low orbit, and should return to earth fairly quickly in order to avoid becoming dangers for other satellites. 'They each contain seven solar cells, a microprocessor, an antenna and amplifier, power storage in capacitors, and switching circuitry to turn on the microprocessor when the stored energy is enough to create a single radio-frequency emission.' Due to their size, atmospheric drag would slow them down without burning them up, allowing them to study the uppermost atmosphere of wherever they are deployed next: Venus, Titan, Europe, and Jupiter are all possibilities."
Sony

77 Million Accounts Stolen From Playstation Network 645

Runaway1956 was one of many users to continue to update us about the intrusion we've been following this week. "Sony is warning its millions of PlayStation Network users to watch out for identity-theft scams after hackers breached its security and plundered the user names, passwords, addresses, birth dates, and other information used to register accounts. Sony's stunning admission came six days after the PlayStation Network was taken down following what the company described as an 'external intrusion'. The stolen information may also include payment-card data, purchase history, billing addresses, and security answers used to change passwords, Sony said on Tuesday. The company plans to keep the hacked system offline for the time being, and to restore services gradually. The advisory also applies to users of Sony's related Qriocity network."
Classic Games (Games)

Roguelikes: the Misnamed Genre 201

ZorbaTHut writes "I've been playing a lot of Dungeon Crawl: Stone Soup lately. It's a great example of a roguelike (and open source, too). But I can't stop thinking that perhaps 'roguelike' is the wrong term for the genre. 'Roguelikes aren’t about dungeons. They’re not about text-based graphics, or random artifacts, or permadeath. ... Roguelikes are about using an unpredictable toolkit with complex interactions in order to overcome unpredictable challenges.'"
Security

French Hacker Arrested After Bragging On TV 134

Orome1 writes "A French hacker has effectually tied a noose around his own neck when he bragged about hacking into the systems of a big government contractor on national TV. He participated in a television program called Further investigation, and he said — and demonstrated — that he has gained access to computers belonging to the French Army and Thales Group, a French company that provides information systems and services for the aerospace, defense, and security markets. He was arrested 6 days after the program was aired. The police discovered on his computer a great number of compromised credit card and bank account data."
Education

Wikipedia Wants More Contributions From Academics 385

holy_calamity writes "University professors don't feel their role as intellectuals working for the public good extends to contributing to the world's largest encyclopedia, the Guardian reports. Wikimedia foundation is currently surveying academics as part of a search for ways to encourage them to pitch in alongside anonymous civilians and raise quality. The main problem seems to be the academic ego: papers, talks and grant proposals build reputation but Wikipedia edits do not."
Image

Did the Chinese Military Use Top Gun Footage? 226

heidaro writes "'As part of its ongoing expansion, has the People's Liberation Army signed up Goose and Maverick? Chinese bloggers are accusing state broadcaster CCTV of using re-purposed footage from the 1986 film Top Gun for a story on a recent air force drill.' Is it just me or are communist nations very skilled at embarrassing themselves?"
The Matrix

The Matrix Re-Reloaded 640

derGoldstein writes "According to Keanu Reeves: ' Matrix 4 and 5 are coming.' At an event that took place at the London International School of Performing Arts, 'Reeves revealed that he met with the Wachowskis around Christmas. They told him that they completed script treatments for two more Matrix installments. They are planning to make the films in 3D and have already met with James Cameron to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the technology. Reeves added that he's excited to return as Neo and promised that the treatments will truly revolutionize the action genre like the first Matrix film did.'"

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