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Privacy

Submission + - Do Not Track ineffective and dangerous, says researcher (nadim.cc)

Seeteufel writes: Nadim Kobeissi, security researcher, describes the Do Not Track standard of the W3C as dangerous.

In fact, Google’s search engine, as well as Microsoft’s (Bing), both ignore the Do Not Track header even though both companies helped implement this feature into their web browsers. Yahoo Search also ignored Do Not Track requests. Some websites will politely inform you, however, of the fact that your Do Not Track request has been ignored, and explain that this has been done in order to preserve their advertising revenue. But not all websites, by a long shot, do this.

The revalations come as Congress and European legislators consider to tighten privacy standards amidth massive advertiser lobbying. "Do not track" received strong support from the European Commission.

Submission + - Oracle going after Google again (informationweek.com)

bobthesungeek76036 writes: Oracle is not happy with Judge Alsup's May 2012 ruling in it's copyright infringment case against Google. This judge should rule over some copyright cases:

"So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API," Alsup wrote in his ruling. "It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical. Duplication of the command structure is necessary for interoperability."


Google

Submission + - Google Play privacy slip-up sends app buyers' personal details to developers (zdnet.com)

NatasRevol writes: Holy crap, this is bad.

"Without asking permission, Google sends developers the personal details of everyone who buys their app from Google Play.
According to Australian developer Dan Nolan, Google sends him the name, suburb and email address of consumers that his app — enough to "track down and harass users who left negative reviews".
Nolan discovered the trove of customer data on his "merchant account" recently while updating his seller payment details."

Science

Submission + - Genetics study claims to prove Bigfoot's existence (mongabay.com) 1

terrancem writes: A new study purporting to uncover DNA evidence for Bigfoot has been published today in DeNovo Scientific Journal. While Bigfoot-enthusiasts have long argued that the cryptic monster is an unidentified ape species, the new study says their genetic evidence shows the Sasquatch is in fact a hybrid of modern human females mating with an unidentified primate species 13,000 years ago. The only problem: the journal in which the study is published—DeNovo Scientific Journal—appears to have been created recently with the sole purpose to publish this study.
Science

Submission + - Gut Bacteria Conspired in Melamine Poisonings (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: In 2008, nearly 300,000 infants in China got sick from milk formula tainted with melamine, a plastics additive that was used illegally to bulk up the formula's apparent protein content. Now, a study in rats implicates bacteria living in the gut as unwitting accomplices in this mass poisoning. The bacteria convert some melamine to cyanuric acid, whichwas present in high concentrations in fatal kidney stones. The work helps clarify how melamine toxicity arises and also drives home the key role that gut bacteria play in human health.

Submission + - Source code for Photoshop 1.0 (computerhistory.org)

gbooch writes: "With the permission of Adobe Systems, the Computer History Museum has made available the source code for Photoshop version 1.0.1, comprising about 128,000 lines code within 179 files, most of which is in Pascal, the remainder in 68000 assembly language.

This the kind of code I aspire to write.

The Computer History Museum has earlier made available the source code to MacPaint (which you'll find here http://www.computerhistory.org/atchm/macpaint-and-quickdraw-source-code/)."

Security

Submission + - Adobe Reader Zero Day is First Adobe Sandbox Escape (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Researchers at Kaspersky Lab have confirmed that the zero-day exploit found in the wild targeting Adobe Reader and Acrobat is the first attack to successfully circumvent the sandbox in the ubiquitous Adobe products. Attackers are using malicious PDFs posing as an application for an international travel visa to exploit a zero-day vulnerability in Adobe Reader and Acrobat, a researcher at FireEye said. The exploit is the first to escape the sandbox included in Reader X and above.
Programming

Submission + - Ask slashdot: spreadsheet with decent programming language?

slartibartfastatp writes: "Spreadsheets are very flexible tools for data analysis and transformations, the obvious options being MS Excel and LibreOffice. However, I found increasingly infuriating to deal with the VBA--dialect functions or (even worse) its translated versions. Is there any spreadsheet that allows usage of a decent programming language in its formulae? I found PySpread intriguing, but still very beta (judging from its latest release version 0.2.3). Perl or even javascript would be better options than =AVERAGE(). The slashdot community knows any viable alternatives ?"
The Military

Submission + - The Black Hornet Is The $195,000 Spy Plane That Fits In Your Hand (gizmocrazed.com)

Diggester writes: The British have been using this little drone for about a year. It's called the Black Hornet Nano Unmanned Aircraft System, costs $195,000 and can fly for a total of 25 minutes. It is equipped with a small camera that can send back full video or still images to the soldiers screen, with range of up to 1000 meters. The device is 10 cm long and weighing 16 grams, with a 4 inch rotor span — think a little longer than your middle finger.

The British seem to really like this drone, it is powered by a small battery pack that enables it to fly at up to 10 m/s. What is really awesome about it is that it can be controlled via an 'autopilot' type mode where it goes to its destination via a GPS chip.

Movies

Submission + - UK Court: MPAA Not Entitled To Profits From Piracy (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: "The MPAA and other entertainment industry groups have been locked for years in a legal struggle against Newzbin2, a Usenet-indexing site. The MPAA contends that, since Newzbin2 profits from making it easier for users to find pirated movies online, the MPAA can sue to take those profits on behalf of its members, who produced that content in the first place. But a British court has rejected that argument."
Ubuntu

Submission + - Linux-friendly mini PC fast enough for Steam games (techreport.com)

crookedvulture writes: "Barebones mini PCs have been around for a while, and the latest one from Zotac is pretty unique. For $270, the Zbox ID42 offers a Sandy Bridge CPU, a discrete GeForce graphics processor, and all the integrated I/O and networking you'd expect from a modern PC. You have to add your own memory, hard drive, and operating system, but the latter shouldn't cost you a dime. The Zbox works well with not only Windows, but also Linux. Ubuntu even recognizes the included remote, which can be used to wake up the system, control XBMC, and navigate Steam's Big Picture interface. Team Fortress 2 for Linux is actually playable, albeit at a relatively low resolution and detail level. The hardware seems better suited to casual games. Zotac also makes a Plus version of the Zbox that comes bundled with RAM and a hard drive, but it costs an extra $130, and you can get much better components if you add them yourself. The user-friendly chassis makes filling out the system a trivial undertaking."
Science

Submission + - Gut Bacteria Liberate Hidden Toxins Found In Grains (acs.org)

MTorrice writes: "Crops such as wheat and corn sometimes harbor chemicals from molds that grow on the plants. Some of these compounds are seemingly harmless derivatives of toxins produced by the fungi. For the first time, researchers have shown that human gut bacteria can break down these compounds and release the toxins, which can cause gastrointestinal and neurological damage in people. The findings suggest that these masked toxins may not stay hidden within our digestive tracts, and that government agencies may need to regulate the chemicals, the researchers say."
Sci-Fi

Submission + - Games Workshop bullies author over use of the words "space marine" (boingboing.net)

jzoetewey writes: "An author I know (MCA Hogarth) recently had her book "Spots the Space Marine" taken off Amazon because Games Workshop claimed it violated their trademark. The interesting thing? Their trademark doesn't include ebooks or novels. Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money to fight them.

Plus the idea of a space marine was around long before they were.

Anyway, Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing has written something about it:"

Space

Submission + - Kepler: Nearest 'Second Earth' May be Right Next Door (discovery.com)

astroengine writes: "Extrapolating from findings by NASA's planet-hunting Kepler Space Telescope, scientists on Wednesday said roughly six percent of so-called red dwarf stars have Earth-sized planets properly positioned around their parent stars so that liquid water could exist on their surfaces. The team looked at 95 candidate planets circling red dwarf stars observed by Kepler and found that at least 60 percent have planets smaller than Neptune. Most were not the right size or temperature to be Earth-like, but three were found to be both warm and approximately Earth-sized. Statistically that would mean six percent of all red dwarf stars should have a Earth-sized planet. Since 75 percent of the closest stars are red dwarfs, the nearest Earth-like world may be just 13 light-years away."

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