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Submission + - Fighting ad blockers with captcha ads (newscientist.com) 1

krou writes: Living in an ad-free internet thanks to ad blockers? That could be a thing of the past if software firm NuCatcha has their way: make captchas into ads. 'Instead of the traditional squiggly word that users have to decipher, the new system shows them a video advert with a short message scrolling across it. The user has to identify and retype part of the message to proceed. Companies including Electronic Arts, Wrigley and Disney have already signed up.'

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Online Storage

An anonymous reader writes: I've been tasked with exploring online backup for my company, as opposed to our current tape rotation. We have around 750GB of total data, with a daily delta of around 800-1200MB. We work a regular business shift and have a 10Mbps sustained pipe, so moving the daily delta would not be an issue once we got through the pain of the initial push.

What are decent enterprise-ready backup providers that can handle this amount of data without breaking the bank?
Technology

Submission + - Charged with frauding a robot (www.dn.no)

Kanel writes: Most of the transactions in stockmarkets today, are handled by automatic or semi-automatic algorithms, so-called "stock market robots". The norwegian daytraders Larsen and Veiby successfully carried out a form of social engineering against one of these stock market robots and could now face up to six years in jail.

The two daytraders, who worked independently, placed a number of sell and buy orders onto the Oslo Stock Exchange. For many of these orders, a deal was never completed. The police claim that Larsen and Veiby placed these orders to manipulate the stock exchange and fool a robot owned by US trading house Timber Hill. The police is quoted in the newspaper Dagens Næringsliv saying that the 2200 buy and sell orders carried out from november 2007 to march 2008 changed the robots' impression of the price of certain stocks, something that Larsen and Veiby took advantage of this.

It should be mentioned here that while the stock exchange announce an "official" price on stocks, many stock market robots analyze buy and sell orders in real-time, to predict the next official update from the stock exchange and gamble against this.
Larsen and Veiby claim that they did not manipulate the robot or the stock exchange in an unlawful manner. Nor were their buy and sell orders "fake". The daytraders took an economic risk as anyone could have taken them up on their buy and sell offers.

In this man versus machine lawsuit, commentators rally in support of the two daytraders, who got the paltry sum of 67 000 USD out of their social engineering scheme. The main argument in their defence is that the stock market robots are gaming each other in the same manner all the time. Is something legal when an algorithm performs it at lightning speed and illegal when a human plays by the same strategy? The robots of Goldman Sachs earned the company a hundred million dollars by a similar trading on small margins and got away with it, but when two humans bested a robot at its own game, they were sued.

Several commenters see the lawsuit as part of an ongoing fight to keep small players out of the stock market. Large actors on the stock market move their computers closer to the stock exchange, with direct connections to it, so that their algorithms get a millisecond headstart against other traders when a buy or sell order is announced. While this high-tech is the norm, it appears infeasible, according to commenters, to let everyone in on robot trading. There is no way for say a student or an independent trader to design and connect a robot trading algorithm to the stock exchange and play the same field as the big robots. In Germany alone, 200 000 people is reported to have left the trading arena because of the robots and the preferential treatment they get at the stock exchanges.

Privacy

Newborns' Blood Used To Build Secret DNA Database 263

Kanel notes a summary up at New Scientist of an investigation by a Texas newspaper revealing that Texas health officials had secretly transferred hundreds of newborn babies' blood samples to the federal government to build a DNA database. Here's the (long and detailed) article in the Texas Tribune. From New Scientist: "The Texas Department of State Health Services routinely collected blood samples from newborns to screen for a variety of health conditions, before throwing the samples out. But beginning in 2002, the DSHS contracted Texas A&M University to store blood samples for potential use in medical research. These accumulated at rate of 800,000 per year. The DSHS did not obtain permission from parents, who sued the DSHS, which settled in November 2009. Now the Tribune reveals that wasn't the end of the matter. As it turns out, between 2003 and 2007, the DSHS also gave 800 anonymized blood samples to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory to help create a national mitochondrial DNA database. This came to light after repeated open records requests filed by the Tribune turned up documents detailing the mtDNA program. Apparently, these samples were part of a larger program to build a national, perhaps international, DNA database that could be used to track down missing persons and solve cold cases."
Piracy

Submission + - Estimating the cost of piracy at 5-10% of sales (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This article suggests a new method of estimating the loss of income due to piracy on file sharing networks.
Instead of trying to count torrent downloads, the author compares sales of various leading cross-platform titles in the unhacked PS3 vs. the hacked Xbox 360.
The calculated unexplained difference in sales is cited as the estimated loss for titles on the Xbox 360 due to piracy

Google

Submission + - Google launches 'person finder' for Chile quake... (appspot.com)

KPexEA writes: Google on Saturday quickly activated an online "person finder" tool to allow relatives and friends to find loved ones following the huge earthquake in Chile.

The "Person Finder: Chile Earthquake" from the California-based Internet giant is located at Chilepersonfinder.appspot.com and offers users the choice of using it in English and Spanish.

It asks users "What is your situation?" and gives them the choice between "I'm looking for someone" and "I have information about someone."

Earth

Submission + - Unfriendly Climate Greets Gore at Apple Meeting 1

theodp writes: Apple's shareholder meeting this week took on a Jerry Springer-vibe, with harsh comments about former VP and Apple Board Member Al Gore setting the tone. Several stockholders took turns either bashing or praising Gore's high-profile views on climate change. Apple shareholder Shelton Ehrlich urged against Gore's re-election to the board, claiming that Gore 'has become a laughingstock. The glaciers have not melted. If his advice he gives to Apple is as faulty as his views on the environment then he doesn't need to be re-elected.' it. Hey, at least he moved a few copies of Keynote, Shelton. Proposals from shareholders presented in regard to Apple's environmental impact — one asking Apple to publicly commit to greenhouse gas reduction goals and publish a formal sustainability report; the other proposing that Apple's board establish a sustainability committee — were rejected by shareholders. However, preliminary voting results indicated that Gore was re-elected to Apple's Board.
Earth

Submission + - How Slums Can Save the Planet 1

Standing Bear writes: "One billion people live in squatter cities and, according to the UN, this number will double in the next 25 years. Now with sixty million people in the developing world leaving the countryside every year, Stewart Brand writes in Prospect about what squatter cities can teach us much about future urban living. "The magic of squatter cities is that they are improved steadily and gradually by their residents," writes Brand. "Squatter cities are also unexpectedly green. They have maximum density—1m people per square mile in some areas of Mumbai—and have minimum energy and material use. People get around by foot, bicycle, rickshaw, or the universal shared taxi." Brand adds that in most slums recycling is literally a way of life e.g. the Dharavi slum in Mumbai has 400 recycling units and 30,000 ragpickers. "Of course, fast-growing cities are far from an unmitigated good. They concentrate crime, pollution, disease and injustice as much as business, innovation, education and entertainment" says Brand. Still as architect Peter Calthorpe wrote in 1985: “The city is the most environmentally benign form of human settlement. Each city dweller consumes less land, less energy, less water, and produces less pollution than his counterpart in settlements of lower densities.”"
Privacy

Submission + - Companies using new technology to track cars. (nytimes.com) 3

kamapuaa writes: MVTRAC, is one of several new companies in the process of automatically tracking car license plates to make private databases. They're for use in helping banks re-possess them, or helping police find stolen cars, or really whatever the companies feel like, as the new-found industry lacks government oversight. The New York Times has an article about how it's changing the car repo industry
Robotics

Submission + - Defending Against Drones 1

theodp writes: The U.S. has not had to truly think about its air defense since the Cold War. But as America embraces the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, Newsweek says it's time to consider how our greatest new weapon may come back to bite us. Smaller UAVs' cool, battery-powered engines make them difficult to hit with conventional heat-seeking missiles. And while Patriot missiles can take out UAVs, at $3 million apiece such protection carries a steep price tag, especially if we have to deal with $500 DIY drones.
IT

Submission + - How Do You Get Users to Read Error Messages? 3

A BOFH writes: The longer I do desktop support, the more it becomes obvious that my users don't read anything that appears on their screen. Instead, they memorize a series of buttons to press to get whatever result they want and if anything unexpected happens, they're completely lost. Error logs help a lot, but they have their limits. I've been toying with a few ideas, but I don't know if any of them will work and I was hoping my fellow Slashdotters could point me in the right direction. For example, I was thinking about creating icons or logos to identify specific errors. They might not remember that an error about "uninitialized data" but they might be more able to remember that they got the "puppy error" if I showed a puppy picture next to the error message. Or for times when finding images is too time consuming, you could create simple logos from letters, numbers, symbols, colors or shapes, so you could have the "red 5" error or "blue square" error (or any combination of those elements). I've even wondered if it would be possible to expand that to cover the other senses, for example, playing a unique sound with the error. Unfortunately, haptic and olfactory feedback aren't readily available. I like to think that my users would remember the error that caused them to get a swift kick in the balls. And if they forgot it anyhow, I could always help them reproduce it. Does anyone else have experience with ideas like these? Did it work?

Submission + - Utah considers warrantless internet subpoenas (sltrib.com)

seneces writes: The Utah State Legislature is considering a bill, HB150, granting the Attorney General's Office the ability to demand customer information from internet or cell phone companies via an administrative subpoena, with no judicial review. This is an expansion of a similar law passed last year, which granted that ability when "it is suspected that a child-sex crime has been committed", and has led to more than one non-judicial request for subscriber information per day since becoming law. Pete Ashdown, owner of a local ISP and 2006 candidate for the United States Senate, has discussed his position and the effects of this bill. This would undoubtably set an uncomfortable precedent for ISPs being compelled to release subscriber information on the mere suspicion of a crime, or even "electronic communication harassment".

Comment Re:eh (Score 1) 699

You don't even have to look that far. A year ago there was a big story about a school that strip-searched a female student because another student claimed he got Advil from her .

This happens more often than you would think. Several teenage girls were strip searched in Iowa recently, supposedly looking for money one girl reported stolen. They even let the accuser watch the girls strip. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009909050337 Even though Iowa has a law against this, no charges have been filed and the school has said they won't do anything until someone makes them. Schools are almost completely unaccountable to their abuse of students in many states.

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