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Education

Submission + - Khan Academy launches computer science curriculum (cio.com)

joabj writes: "Expanding beyond math and the physical sciences, Khan Academy has added a set of computer science courses to its popular collection of learn-at-home instructional videos. For the project, Khan tapped jQuery creator John Resig, who chose JavaScript as the first language to teach students. The initial set of tutorials cover drawing, programming basics, animation and user interaction."
Facebook

Submission + - Leaky Websites Leaving Trails Of Clues To Fortune 500 Executives (itworld.com)

chicksdaddy writes: "You can read about Zappos’ CEO Tony Hsieh on the company’s Web site-- about how he sold his first company, LinkExchange to Microsoft in 1999, at the age of 24, and joined Zappos as an advisor and investor, eventually rising to the company’s top post. What you might not learn is that Tony is an exercise enthusiast who gets his gear from Nikeplus.com, watches his favorite shows on the Internet streaming site Hulu, keeps up with his friends on Facebook and checks the value of his Amazon.com stock (Amazon bought Zappos in 2009) at Marketwatch.com. That lesser known information about Hsieh – a treasure trove for hackers — is public, all the same: leaked from e-commerce and social networking sites linked to the CEO’s @zappos.com e-mail address.

Hsieh is hardly alone. A newly released analysis by security researcher Cesar Cerrudo and reported by ITWorld.com found that executives like Hsieh, including many at Fortune 500 firms, frequently use their business e-mail addresses to access a wide range of prominent social media web sites. Cerrudo, the Chief Technology Officer of security firm IOActive Labs, scanned 30 prominent Web sites, uncovering 840 unique e-mail addresses of C-level corporate executives linked to 930 online accounts. They include 42 Facebook accounts linked to e-mail accounts for executives of firms such as oil giant Chevron, blue chip firm GE and financial services firms Chase.com and Morgan Stanley. Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney, uses his corporate e-mail to log in and watch movies on Netflix. Denise Morrison of Campbell’s Soup used hers to connect with friends on Facebook and make travel plans with United Airlines. Despite their deep rivalry, Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Tim Cook of Apple both have accounts at the cloud-based file sharing service Dropbox.com linked to their corporate e-mail address, Cerrudo’s data suggests."

Google

Submission + - Google turns its search smarts to patents (gigaom.com)

vu1986 writes: "Google Patents now undertakes the tricky task of spotting prior art by analyzing key phrases in individual patents across Google’s collections of book, scholarly research, patents and, indeed, web databases.

A capability like this has been a long time coming considering the problems that exist in searching for patents — especially prior art. Priort art is generally defined as “all information that has been disclosed to the public in any form about an invention before a given date.” For practitioners, however, the definition might as well read “nearly impossible to search for given the ever-growing volumes of published material.”

http://gigaom.com/data/google-turns-its-search-smarts-to-patents/"

Submission + - Widely used antibacterial chemical may impair muscle function (ucdavis.edu)

daleallan writes: Triclosan, which is widely used in consumer handsoaps, toothpaste, clothes, carpets and trash bags, impairs muscle function in animal studies, say researchers at UC Davis. It slows swimming in fish and reduces muscle strength in mice. It may even impair the ability of heart muscle cells to contract. The chemical is in everyone's home and pervasive in the environment, the lead researcher says. One million pounds of Triclosan is produced in the U.S. annually and it's found in waterways, fish, dolphins, human urine, blood and breast milk. The researchers say their findings "Call for a dramatic reduction in use. It's in my Colgate Total toothpaste, and in fact, preventing gingivitis is the only use that may be worthwhile, although this makes me think twice about continuing to brush with it.
Security

Submission + - Wikileaks Back Online After Massive DDoS Attack (threatpost.com) 1

Trailrunner7 writes: The controversial document-sharing site WikiLeaks was back online Monday evening after sustaining a week-long distributed denial-of-service attack.

The organization apparently received some extra capacity and assistance from Web performance and security firm Cloudfare to counter the 10 gigabits per second of bogus traffic that overwhelmed servers for numerous WikiLeaks domains and several supporters' sites.

Targets included WikiLeaks' news aggregation site and its donations infrastructure, which it calls the Fund for Network Neutrality.

A few days ago the organization posted a statement describing what it surmised was a DNS amplification attack. "Broadly speaking, this attack makes use of open DNS servers where attackers send a small request to, the fast DNS servers then amplify the request, the request has now increased somewhat in size and is sent to the server of wikileaks-press.org. If an attacker then exploits hundreds of thousands of open DNS resolvers and sends millions of requests to each of them, the attack becomes quite powerful. We only have a small uplink to our server, the size of all these requests was 100,000 times the size of our uplink."

Wireless Networking

Submission + - 1Gbps Optical Wireless Network Might Replace Wi-Fi (ispreview.co.uk)

Mark.JUK writes: Pennsylvania State University has developed a new method of indoor Optical Wireless network that does not require a line-of-sight and runs at speeds of 1Gbps+. The system uses a high-powered laser diode — a device that converts electricity into light — as the optical transmitter and an avalanche photo diode — a device that converts light to electricity — as the receiver. The light bounces off the walls and is picked up by the receiver. Traditional radio frequency systems (Wi-Fi , WiMAX etc.) do not require line of sight transmission, but can pass through some substances and so present a security problem. Light, in a room without windows, will not escape the room, improving security.
The Courts

Submission + - Tanya Andersen Brings Class Action Against RIAA

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Ever since the RIAA's litigation campaign began in 2003, many people have been suggesting a class action against the RIAA. Tanya Andersen, in Oregon, has taken them up on it. The RIAA's case against this disabled single mother, Atlantic v. Andersen, has received attention in the past, for her counterclaims against the RIAA including claims under Oregon's RICO statute, the RIAA's hounding of her young daughter for a face to face deposition, the RIAA's eventual dropping of the case "with prejudice", and her lawsuit against the RIAA for malicious prosecution, captioned Andersen v. Atlantic. Now she's turned that lawsuit into a class action. The amended complaint seeking class action status (pdf) sues for negligence, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, federal and state RICO, abuse of process, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass, invasion of privacy, libel and slander, deceptive business practices, misuse of copyright law, and civil conspiracy."
Privacy

Submission + - Internal passports for U.S. citizens? (cnn.com)

StefanJ writes: "Oh, for cripes sake:

(CNN) — Americans may need passports to board domestic flights or to picnic in a national park next year if they live in one of the states defying the federal Real ID Act.
If George Orwell were alive today, he'd be banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming "Ahhh! Let me out!""

Feed Science Daily: Fossil Fish Jaws Give Information On Our Own Remote Ancestors (sciencedaily.com)

When we lose our milk teeth they are replaced by new permanent teeth growing out in exactly the same positions. This is an ancient part of our evolutionary heritage and an identifying characteristic of the largest living group of backboned animals. Now, scientists have uncovered ancient fossil fish jaws that cast light on the origin of this group and its unique dentition.
The Courts

Submission + - Foster Demands RIAA Post $210k Security for Fees

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "A few days ago it was reported that, in view of the RIAA's one-month delay in paying the $68,685.00 attorneys fee award in Capitol v. Foster, and its lawyers' failure to respond to Ms. Foster's lawyer's email, Ms. Foster filed a motion for entry of judgment so that she could go ahead with judgment enforcement proceedings. In response to that motion the RIAA submitted a statement that it had no objection to entry of judgment, and intimated that it thought there would be an automatic stay on enforcement of the judgment, and that it would ultimately file an appeal. After seeing that, Ms. Foster's lawyer has filed a motion for the Court to require the RIAA to post $210,000 in security to cover the past and future attorneys fees and costs which are expected to be incurred."
Software

Submission + - Linux Foundation launches kernel dev roadmap

kwabbles writes: The Linux Weather Forecast was launched today, along with "current conditions" for kernel development, a "short-term forecast" and a "long-term forecast". Now developers and organizations that want to see when certain implementations/fixes are planned can look at this informative and handy site. http://www.linux-foundation.org/en/Linux_Weather_F orecast
The Courts

Submission + - Boston Judge Denies RIAA Motion for Judgment

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In a Boston case, Capitol v. Alaujan, the defendant is representing herself, without a lawyer. Nevertheless, the Judge denied the RIAA's motion for summary judgment, which the RIAA had based upon the defendant's alleged failure to respond to the RIAA's Request for Admissions. The Court's decision (pdf) held that the RIAA had served its requests for admission prematurely, prior to the conduct of any discovery conference. The Court also noted that the RIAA had upped the ante quite a bit, trying to get a judgment based on 41 song files, even though it had originally been asking for judgment based on 9 song files. This would have increased the size of the judgment from about $7,000 to about $31,000. The Judge scheduled a discovery conference for October 23rd, at 2:30 P.M. and ordered everybody to attend. Such conferences are open to the public."
Space

Submission + - Comet Explosion Killed The Clovis Culture. 1

Haikuist_For_Hire writes: The NSF has released a study that strongly implicates a comet explosion over North America roughly 13000 years ago. Researchers at the University of Californina at Santa Barbara with the help of a National Science Foundation grant visited many Clovis sites around North America. The abrupt cooling trend of that time is known as the Younger Dryas or 'big freeze' and the collapse of the Clovis has been the subject of much debate over recent years. Samples from 12 Clovis period sites yielded high concentrations of Iridium, nano-diamonds, and buckyballs (fullerenes) that contain gases which indicate extraterrestrial origins. From the article: 'The team concluded that the impact of the comet likely destabilized a large portion of the Laurentide ice sheet, causing a high volume of freshwater to flow into the north Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.'

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