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Comment RFID? (Score 1) 175

Privacy problems aside: So basically these "tiny transistors" are RFID chips?

From TFA:

These low-voltage transistors could one day provide added security or tracking by transmitting information wirelessly to a scanner.

Security for whom btw? For the banks I assume?

Education

Submission + - Do Hobbies Decrease Chances of CS Success?

theodp writes: "Who knows what lexical analysis is?" asked the CS prof. "No one? What, don't you guys do this constantly in your spare time?" Quips like that, and fellow students who never seem to leave the computer lab, make CS student blogger Carolyn sometimes wonder if she really belongs in programming because she doesn't program all the time. "While I don't live to program, I do love to program," she explains, and in the end has decided that's good enough. Somewhere, the late, great, always-room-for-outside-interests Jeff Raskin is smiling.

Comment How it works (Score 5, Informative) 133

As the page is slashdotted, I just wanted to post how it is done here:

For GMail, he added an image to his own GMail account, which he set to "visible for everyone". On his own site he added an invisible img and tries to access the image in his GMail account. He then triggers a javascript function depending on the outcome of the img inclusion (onload or onerror), so he can make the decision, if the visitor of his website is logged in to GMail.

For Facebook, Twitter and Digg he uses http status codes. He tries to access some URL (https://www.facebook.com/imike3) via javascript and depending on the status code he gets, he can decide whether you are logged in or not. This attack doesn't work with IE or Opera, because they do not trigger the onload/onerror events when receiving invalid js.
Math

Euler's Partition Function Theory Finished 117

universegeek writes "Mathematician Ken Ono, from Emory, has solved a 250-year-old problem: how to exactly and explicitly generate partition numbers. Ono and colleagues were able to finally do this by realizing that the pattern of partition numbers is fractal (PDF). This pattern allowed them to find a finite, algebraic formula, which is like striking oil in mathematics."
Programming

Polynomial Time Code For 3-SAT Released, P==NP 700

An anonymous reader writes "Vladimir Romanov has released what he claims is a polynomial-time algorithm for solving 3-SAT. Because 3-SAT is NP-complete, this would imply that P==NP. While there's still good reason to be skeptical that this is, in fact, true, he's made source code available and appears decidedly more serious than most of the people attempting to prove that P==NP or P!=NP. Even though this is probably wrong, just based on the sheer number of prior failures, it seems more likely to lead to new discoveries than most. Note that there are already algorithms to solve 3-SAT, including one that runs in time (4/3)^n and succeeds with high probability. Incidentally, this wouldn't necessarily imply that encryption is worthless: it may still be too slow to be practical."
First Person Shooters (Games)

Arx Fatalis Updated, Released Under GPL 153

Kevin Fishburne writes "According to WtF Dragon at Ultima Aiera, 'The long and short: Arkane Studios have released what is probably going to be the final patch for their Ultima Underworld-inspired game (which, indeed, they tried to license as the third entry in that series), Arx Fatalis. They have also released the source code for the game. That's right, the complete source of Arx Fatalis is available for download.' The readme notes that the original game installation is required in order to play the compiled game, as the data files are certainly still copyrighted. Linux is in need of a good FPS dungeon crawler, though the code will need a hell of a lot of cleanup as it's a VC8/9 project and uses DirectX (ugh...)."
Encryption

Why Sony Cannot Stop PS3 Pirates 378

Sam writes "A former Ubisoft exec believes that Sony will not be able to combat piracy on the PlayStation 3, which was recently hacked. Martin Walfisz, former CEO of Ubisoft subsidiary Ubisoft Massive, was a key player in developing Ubisoft's new DRM technologies. Since playing pirated games doesn't require a modchip, his argument is that Sony won't be able to easily detect hacked consoles. Sony's only possible solution is to revise the PS3 hardware itself, which would be a very costly process. Changing the hardware could possibly work for new console sales, though there would be the problem of backwards compatibility with the already-released games. Furthermore, current users would still be able to run pirated copies on current hardware." An anonymous reader adds commentary from PS3 hacker Mathieu Hervais about Sony's legal posturing.
Facebook

How To Be Popular On Facebook, Quantified 97

Hugh Pickens writes "Network World reports that Facebook has just released an analysis of the word usage for about one million status updates from its US English speakers with the words in updates organized into 68 different word categories based on the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)--a text analysis software program that calculates the degree to which people use different categories of words across a wide array of texts. The results? To be popular on Facebook all you have to do is write longer status updates, talk about music and sports, don't be overly emotional, don't talk about your family, don't refer to time and use the word 'you' a lot. Facebook's study also confirms something that bloggers and Fox News have known for years: negative comments produce more online activity. Sure, Facebook users might click the like button more often on updates expressing positive emotion. But Facebook found you can't beat negativity for user engagement, as dismal status updates garnered more comments than positive ones."
Image

8-Year-Olds Publish Scientific Bee Study 174

flintmecha writes "A group of British schoolchildren may be the youngest scientists ever to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal. In a new paper in Biology Letters, children from Blackawton Primary School report that buff-tailed bumblebees can learn to recognize nourishing flowers based on colors and patterns. The paper itself is well worth reading. It's written entirely in the kids' voices, complete with sound effects (part of the Methods section is subtitled, ''the puzzle'duh duh duuuhhh') and figures drawn by hand in colored pencil."

Submission + - Ellsberg supports wikileaks (ellsberg.net)

wierd_w writes: Daniel Ellsberg: “EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

Due to the recent debates over the pros and cons between the wikileaks releases and those of the historic "Pentagon papers", Journalist Daniel Ellsberg, who released the pentagon papers in 1971, has written an editorial on the subject declaring that he rejects the mantra of “Pentagon Papers good; WikiLeaks material bad", and that further “That’s just a cover for people who don’t want to admit that they oppose any and all exposure of even the most misguided, secretive foreign policy. The truth is that EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time.”

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