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Submission + - Extinction of an ancient language (discovery.com) 6

freakxx writes: As Boa Sr., 85, the last speaker of a 65000 years old language died in Andaman Islands of India, the ancient language "Bo" also goes extinct. She was the last speaker of the language since last 30-40 years since her parents died.

Her ancestry trees can be traced back to Africa as her tribe was one of the 10 Great Andamanese Tribes, who very first paved their ways to this region directly from Africa.

Stephen Corry, the director of Survival International, summaries it as a great loss to the human history and it should not be allowed to repeat: "Boa's loss is a bleak reminder that we must not allow this to happen to the other tribes of the Andaman Islands". However, the fact is that the surviving number of people belonging to these tribes are now only 52 and it may not be that far when we see these other tribes also go extinct.

The biggest question that comes along is whether we should let the evolution follow its course of "only the fittest can survive" or should we intervene and protect these ancient treasures! What is even more important is "how ?", because according to the article, when the British came, they tried to civilize these tribal people by putting few of them in modern houses but non of the 150 children born could survive more than 2 years.

Portables

$199 Freescale Tablet Design Runs Chromium OS 93

Charbax writes "This is an extensive video interview with Freescale's manager of software development about their integration of the Chromium OS onto their ARM Cortex A8 i.MX51-based $199 Tablet reference design. It seems to run smoothly and fast with multiple tabs. There's no touch screen support yet, so input is done through a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine. Freescale is also demonstrating Android and Ubuntu versions. Those have a 3G SIM card reader built-in, an HDMI output and 720p video playback. The question is: will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites and support a large amount of opened tabs?" The demonstration of the Chromium tablet begins at about 11:20 into the video. The Android and Ubuntu versions are displayed earlier.

Submission + - Legality & need of encrypted cell phones 5

LlamaZorz writes: Dear Slashdot community, I have been wondering for quite some time as to why American citizens do not have access to cell phones with encrypted data and voice communication. We all know that the government has such technology and makes very good use of it, so why cant the populace? Is their a set regulation by the FCC or something which prohibits companies from marketing encrypted cell phones to the everyday person? I have searched and cannot find one.

I am aware that both GSM and CDMA all have their own encryption standard which is mainly used to stop everyday people from listening in. But such minor encryption in no way stops our government and its agencies or a criminal organisation. The US government has numerous known programs like ECHELON, where they are capable of listening to your calls, screening for keywords. What is even more scary a majority of our intelligence is outsourced to private enterprise. I find all of these things completely ridiculous. We as citizens should have our privacy and it shouldn't compromised no matter how bad the threat.

So I mainly wanted to ask Slashdot if it were legal & ethical to create such a phone which would use known secure public key encryption trying to completely secure all voice communication. I think such is both possible and practical. What do you guys think?
Privacy

Submission + - What Does DHS Know About You? (philosecurity.org)

Sherri Davidoff writes: "Here's a real copy of an American citizen's DHS Travel Record retrieved from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Automated Targeting System (ATS). This was obtained through a FOIA/Privacy Act request... The document reveals that the DHS is storing the reader's:
  • Credit card number and expiration
  • IP address used to make web travel reservations
  • Hotel information and itinerary
  • Full airline itinerary, including flight numbers and seat numbers
  • Phone numbers, incl. business, home & cell
  • Every frequent flyer and hotel number associated with the subject, even ones not used for the specific reservation
"

Privacy

Privacy, Mobile Phones, and Ubiquitous Data Collection 61

ChelleChelle writes "Participatory sensing technologies are greatly expanding the possible uses of mobile phones in ways that could improve our lives and our communities (for example, by helping us to understand our exposure to air pollution or our daily carbon footprint). However, with these potential gains comes great risk, particularly to our privacy. With their built-in microphones, cameras and location awareness, mobile phones could, at the extreme, become the most widespread embedded surveillance tools in history. Whether phones engaged in sensing data are tools for self and community research, coercion or surveillance depends on who collects the data, how it is handled, and what privacy protections users are given. This article gives a number of opinions about what programmers might do to make this sort of data collection work without slipping into surveillance and control."
The Internet

Researchers Warn of Possible BitTorrent Meltdown 294

secmartin writes "Researchers at Delft University warn that large parts of the BitTorrent network might collapse if The Pirate Bay is forced to shut down. A large part of the available torrents use The Pirate Bay as tracker, and other available trackers will probably be overloaded if all traffic is shifted there. TPB is currently using eight servers for their trackers. According to the researchers, even trackerless torrents using the DHT protocol will face problems: 'One bug in a DHT sorting routine ensures that it can only "stumble upon success", meaning torrent downloads will not start in seconds or minutes if Pirate Bay goes down in flames.'"
Businesses

Diskeeper Accused of Scientology Indoctrination 779

touretzky writes "Two ex-employees have sued Diskeeper Corporation in Los Angeles Superior Court after being fired, alleging that the company makes Scientology training a mandatory condition of employment (complaint, PDF). Diskeeper founder and CEO Craig Jensen is a high-level, publicly avowed Scientologist who has given millions to his Church. Diskeeper's surprising response to the lawsuit (PDF) appears to be that religious instruction in a place of employment is protected by the First Amendment." The blogger at RealityBasedCommunity.net believes that the legal mechanism that Diskeeper is using to advance this argument ("motion to strike") is inappropriate and will be disallowed, but that the company will eventually be permitted to present its novel legal theory.
Space

Ultra-Sensitive Camera To Measure Exoplanet Sizes 62

Roland Piquepaille writes "US astronomers and engineers have built a new camera to precisely measure the size of planets moving around distant stars. This camera has been dubbed OPTIC — short for 'Orthogonal Parallel Transfer Imaging Camera.' According to the research team, it is 'so sensitive that it could detect the passage of a moth in front of a lit window from a distance of 1,000 miles.' I'm not sure if this analogy is right, but the team said it was able to precisely define the size of a planet called WASP-10b which is orbiting around the star WASP-10, about 300 light-years from Earth."

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