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Sci-Fi

Submission + - Nautilus-X: The Space Station, With Rockets (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "So we have a space station, now what? We've heard some rather outlandish ideas, but this is one concept a research group in NASA is taking seriously. By retrofitting the ISS with rockets, Nautilus-X will act as an interplanetary space station of sorts, including room for 6 astronauts, an artificial gravity ring, inflatable habitats and docking for exploration spaceships. When can we take a luxury cruise to Mars? 2020 by the project's estimate. It all sounds very 2001, but the projected costs of retrofitting the space station seem a little on the low side."
The Internet

Submission + - Pro-union website blocked in Wisconsin state Capit (cnn.com)

rockandrolldoctor writes: CNN is reporting that the Wisconsin State Capital Wi-Fi network is blocking a pro-union website protesters are using to help organize themselves.
Wisconsin Democratic Party press secretary Graeme Zielinski blamed Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers — who returned to work Tuesday — for causing the outage.

"In a direct assault on the First Amendment, Scott Walker's administration is blocking access in the Wisconsin Capitol to opposition websites," Zielinski said.

State Department of Administration spokeswoman Carla Vigue responded, saying, "DOA's security software automatically blocked the site, as it does all new websites."

"No one here at DOA decided to block it or took action to do so," he said. "The website is handled like any other website."

The Capitol internet service, which restricts access to certain websites considered inappropriate for lawmakers, revealed a "blocked page" when users tried to access the site using the building's wireless system.

Facebook

Submission + - Public Data & Private Lives On A Collision Cou (itworld.com)

jfruhlinger writes: "Breakup notifier, which automatically emails you when an object of your affection changes their Facebook relationship status from taken to single, may seem like just another silly social media app. But as blogger Dan Tynan points out, it illustrates a more important point: The nature of publicly available information changes when you automate its collection. This fact has been at the heart of many of the the transformations the Internet has wrought on society; as we make more personal info public and semipublic on social networks, it's about to apply to us in much more personal ways."
Social Networks

Submission + - The HB Gary email that should concern us all (dailykos.com) 1

bstender writes: "According to an embedded MS Word document found in one of the HB Gary emails, it [speaks of] creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated "persona management" software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. Then, to top it off, the team can actually automate some functions so one persona can appear to be an entire Brooks Brothers riot online.

Persona management entails not just the deconfliction of persona artifacts such as names, email addresses, landing pages, and associated content. It also requires providing the human actors technology that takes the decision process out of the loop when using a specific persona. For this purpose we custom developed either virtual machines or thumb drives for each persona. This allowed the human actor to open a virtual machine or thumb drive with an associated persona and have all the appropriate email accounts, associations, web pages, social media accounts, etc. pre-established and configured with visual cues to remind the actor which persona he/she is using so as not to accidentally cross-contaminate personas during use.
And all of this is for the purposes of infiltration, data mining, and (here's the one that really worries me) ganging up on bloggers, commenters and otherwise "real" people to smear enemies and distort the truth."

Submission + - HBGary Hearts Apple (forbes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Journalists, researchers, and concerned citizens continue to scour the more than 70,000 HBGary Federal emails that were obtained by Anonymous and published on the web. As they do, we are learning not only about HBGary Federal and its CEO, Aaron Barr, but also about the various companies with which HBGary Federal has done business over the last several years.Perhaps surprisingly, Apple seems to have been among the companies that Barr at least attempted to recruit for one of his top secret projects.

Submission + - Feds' Cloud Ambitions, Harsh Reality (fiercegovernmentit.com)

1sockchuck writes: "Last week the federal government outlined plans to close 800 data centers and shift $20 billion in IT spending to a cloud computing model. Meanwhile, one of the governments most critical data center projects is n deep trouble. Nearly two years after $500 million in stimulus funding was earmarked to build a new data center for the Social Security Administration, the project a year behind schedule and won’t be ready until 2016. Meanwhile, SSA's existing 30-year-old data center is on the brink of disaster."

Submission + - CIA Shows Off SuperSecret Spy Goodies (foxnews.com) 1

Velcroman1 writes: In a world where Russian femme fatales become international brands and an iconic British spy franchise has made a culturally resurgent reboot, it seems only fitting that the notoriously secretive Central Intelligence Agency is giving the world an insider’s look at some of its wackier exploits.

Last week, the U.S. spy organization launched a revamped website with links to YouTube and Flickr containing Agency historical videos and picture galleries.

“The idea behind these improvements is to make more information about the agency available to more people, more easily,” Director Panetta said in a statement. “The CIA wants the American people and the world to understand its mission and its vital role in keeping our country safe.” In terms of pure coolness the Flickr stream takes the cake — including never-before-seen gallery of special agent supergadgets.

Android

Submission + - Android Shining, RIP Meego 1

shreshtha writes: With giants backing each of these Open source software for Smartphone and Tablets. What went wrong with MeeGo that first NOKIA left MeeGo and then Intel (internally halting some projects).
Moreover Intel CEO Paul Otellini has said Nokia made a mistake choosing Windows Phone 7, and should have gone with Android. What about MeeGo? Why to abandon it?
Patents

Submission + - White House consults public on innovation (whitehouse.gov)

ciaran_o_riordan writes: Ever wanted to tell Obama's policy advisers what you think of software patents? For this week only, the White Houses' policy advisors are taking input on the topic of innovation and the "digital highway". You can draft your responses on End Software Patents' wiki page, and you'll find info and arguments there too that might be useful. Getting a foothold for pushing software patent abolition in the USA is difficult, so let's make the most of this. A good submission has already been posted on Techdirt.
Open Source

Submission + - SourceForge Launches Web Redesign During Outage (sourceforge.net)

thib_gc writes: SourceForge, whose services have been partially crippled for two weeks after an intrusion previously discussed on Slashdot, surprised thousands of developers eagerly awaiting the end of the protracted outage of CVS with an e-mail announcing the immediate launch of a "shiny new look". The announcement boasts that "The use of HTML5/CSS3 has played a huge role in both the visual appearance and enabling performance improvements", in contrast with the exploit disclosure which pledged that "Our immediate priorities are to prevent further exposure and ensure data integrity. We have all hands on deck working on identifying the exploit vector or vectors, eliminating them, and restoring the impacted services." (SourceForge and Slashdot are both part of Geeknet, Inc.)

Submission + - ACS:Law Told File-Sharing Case Must Continue (bbc.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A controversial law firm that sent letters to alleged illegal file sharers has been told it cannot drop its cases to "avoid public scrutiny". "I cannot imagine a system better designed to create disincentives to test the issues in court," said Judge Colin Birss at the Patents County Court in London.

The case stems from a letter-writing campaign by ACS:Law and its partner company MediaCAT, which sent an undisclosed number of notices to alleged file sharers demanding they pay a fine or face the prospect of costly legal action.

Data Storage

Submission + - Wall Street Hedge Fund Smashes Hard Drive Evidence (wsj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: We all know Slashdotters love debating the best way to wipe a hard drive clean. Looks like tech-savvy Wall Street Hedge Fund managers also know the best way to do it. From the WSJ article:

"F—in' pulled the external drives apart," Mr. Longueuil told Mr. Freeman during their meeting, according to the criminal complaint. "Put 'em into four separate little baggies, and then at 2 a.m. 2 a.m. on a Friday night, I put this stuff inside my black North Face jacket, and leave the apartment and I go on like a twenty block walk around the city and try to find a, a garbage truck and threw the s—t in the back of like random garbage trucks, different garbage trucks four different garbage trucks."

Submission + - Net Neutrality Advocate Named Advisor to FTC (motherboard.tv)

HansonMB writes: The fight for net neutrality has been an uphill battle from the start. But with lame-duck representatives like the FCC’s Julius Genachowski sitting back as corporate telecoms buy-out, throttle and further marginalize the principles of an open and equal internet, perhaps the dispirited nature of the struggle is due in part to the absence of a strong leader figure advocating from the inside. That strong leader figure, if ever there was one, is Tim Wu, and he’s just become the newest senior advisor of the Federal Trade Commission.
Advertising

Your Face Will Soon Be In Facebook Ads 344

jfruhlinger writes "If you're planning on checking into Starbucks using Facebook Places, your friends may soon see your profile picture in a Facebook ad for Starbucks — and, it goes without saying, you won't be paid a dime. You can't opt out, unless, as Dan Tynan puts it, "studiously avoid clicking "Like" or checking into any place that has a six- or seven-figure ad budget." The ad will also include whatever text you use in your checkin, so Tynan suggests some judicious pranksterism ("Just checked into the Starbucks around the corner and this doppio mocha latte tastes like goat urine")."

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