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Politics

Submission + - Digital Economy Bill nears Committee Stage (digitalwrong.org)

Kijori writes: "Regular readers of Slashdot will have heard of the Digital Economy Bill — the bill that would allow a user's internet connection to be disconnected based on allegations of infringement. The bill will enter the committee stage on the 6th of January, and DigitalWrong is urging people to get in touch with a member of the House of Lords before that date to explain why the bill is a bad idea.UK-based Slashdotters: you are in a particularly strong position to explain why the bill is technically bad, so please get in touch with a Lord and try to get this bill changed before it reaches the House of Commons."

Submission + - Which Software for Motion Detection in Video

GurneyFox writes: A friend of mine studies biology and works on a field project where they are studying hamsters (which occupied a sports ground in the middle of vienna and had to be caught). They are very active during the night, so they put up a camera in front of the cages. Every day she has to look and skip through 8h of video footage and count any actions of the little fellows. This has to be done for the next 4 months — every day — by one person. There isn't any money for a professional security camera which often have a built in motion detection.

Is there a free software for detecting motion in a video to ease her work? The video is available als vob and mpeg2 file. I googled a bit but didn't find anything appropriate. It should be easy to use or at least easy to learn. Even if it just put out a log file with time stamps I guess this would help a lot.

Or do you have any other suggestions?

cheers, GurneyFox
Linux

Submission + - NZB client for Linux (youlink.org) 3

emanem writes: Hi Slashdot, I've recently coded this NZB client. It is not flashy like LottaNZB, but it just works .
All started because I needed to investigate an issue with my ISP, because LottaNZB wasn't properly working (here the discussion); then I decided to polish the sources and release it!
It's done in C++, developed on Ubuntu for Linux. It's released under the GPL v3.
After having tested with Valgrind as well I thnk it's ok to be released.
I need your expertise/suggestions on how to release it or even if you want to give me hints about the code/software itself, you're more than welcome to do so!
Everything is available here!

Submission + - How many admins per user/computer have you seen? 1

miffo.swe writes: "Im trying to find the normal rate of technicians/support tech per user or computer in your average it-shop. When searching around i cant find that many examples or any statistics.

We manage around 900 computers (mostly Windows XP) and 25+ servers (mostly Linux). Around 2600 users of varying knowledge, mostly pretty low. I cant find any statistics on this so real world examples are very welcome since we do this on one sysadmin (me) and 2 sneaker techs. Are we seriously understaffed or is this normal?"
Security

Submission + - Password management in distributed networks

thetinytoon writes: As many of the readers, I'm one admin in a team running a network of servers, switches and client computers, with each and every system having some username and password to access the administrative interfaces. For obvious reasons, you don't want to have one combination for them all, but for still being productive, you don't want to look up some obscure 16-digit password in a secure container anytime you need to do something. Password generation rules are mostly so obvious, that you could use one password anyways, and most hardware devices don't allow the use of Challenge/Response-algorithms like OPIE. So I'm asking: how do you solve this dilemma in your networks?
Science

Submission + - Ginkgo Doesn't Improve Memory or Cognative Skills (cnn.com)

JumperCable writes: CNN reports

Ginkgo biloba has failed — again — to live up to its reputation for boosting memory and brain function. Just over a year after a study showed that the herb doesn't prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study from the same team of researchers has found no evidence that ginkgo reduces the normal cognitive decline that comes with aging.

In the new study, the largest of its kind to date, DeKosky and his colleagues followed more than 3,000 people between the ages of 72 and 96 for an average of six years. Half of the participants took two 120-milligram capsules of ginkgo a day during the study period, and the other half took a placebo. The people who took ginkgo showed no differences in attention, memory, and other cognitive measures compared to those who took the placebo, according to the study, which was published in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association.

And of course, the link to the study. http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/302/24/2663?home

Submission + - Wanna join the EcoStasi? There's an app for that. (mnn.com)

Dreadneck writes: Karl Burkart at the Mother Nature Network opines that "EcoSnoop starts a new class of vigilante green apps for the iPhone. Now you can report neighborhood polluters."

EcoSnoop claims on its website that "EcoSnoop is Not Big Brother" in BIG bold letters.

It seems to me that if you have to declare that you're not Big Brother that you probably are, at the least, a kissing-cousin of Emmanuel Goldstein's arch-nemesis. Speaking for myself, this app — and the mindset it represents — smacks of the public shaming inflicted in "The Scarlet Letter" combined with the East German Stasi's encouraging of the population to be snitches for the state, with just a pinch of the Spanish Inquisition's anti-heresy effort thrown in for good measure. What else are we going to be encouraged to snitch on our neighbors about?

What say you, Slashdotters?

Submission + - Maintaining algorithmic secrecy 4

commlinx writes: Recently I've been tasked with managing a small development team to develop a pilot project for an Australian electronic voting system. To avoid problems that have plagued similar systems in the United States I'm leaning towards a GNU/Linux open source solution so that the full operating environment can be reproduced from source for complete transparency. A stumbling block is the DES 56 encryption engine has been modified for additional security and we would like to keep this part of the code secret for security reasons.

The key is used to encrypt results before they are e-mailed back to the central server so this level of security is vital to ensure votes aren't received from other sources. I was wondering what ideas fellow Slashdotters could offer remembering the key will be the serial number on the back of the machine so integrity of the algorithm is vital?
Media

Submission + - Cable And Net Could Mean The End Of ‘Free TV (redorbit.com) 1

crispytwo writes: Broadcast experts say the current television business model, which has allowed TV stations to broadcast news, sports and entertainment for free while making their money by showing commercials, may be coming to an end.

How deeply would this affect you?
How many people use over-the-air TV?
Do you use other means to view shows?

Submission + - Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights 2

theodp writes: Many municipalities have switched to LED traffic signals because they burn brighter, last longer and use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs. But they also emit less heat, meaning they sometimes have trouble melting snow, causing problems across the Midwest. In Wisconsin, snow blanketed LED traffic lights in some towns, leading to crashes at intersections where drivers weren't sure whether to stop or go. The unintended consequences of the green technology were also identified as a 'contributing factor' in the death of an Illinois woman hit by a driver who blamed the snow-covered energy-efficient signal for giving the appearance of a normal green light instead of a left-turn signal. 'We can remove the snow with heat, but the cost of doing that in terms of energy use has not brought any enthusiasm from cities and states that buy these signals,' said the CEO of an LED traffic-signal manufacturer. 'They'd like to be able to take away this issue, but they don't want to spend the money and lose the savings.' In the meantime, some towns are addressing sporadic problems by dispatching crews to remove snow or ice from signals using poles, brooms, and heating devices.

Submission + - Homeland Security Issues Subpoenas to Bloggers (airlinereporter.com)

WebMasterP writes: In still developing news from AirlineReporter, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is serving subpoenas to bloggers in, what looks like, a witch hunt. It appears DHS is looking for evidence about information leaks regarding the recently reported on TSA Security Directive SD-1544-09-06. This is drawing some ire from airline reporters.

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