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Submission + - The NSA's next move: silencing university professors? (theguardian.com) 2

wabrandsma writes: From the Guardian:

A Johns Hopkins computer science professor blogs on the NSA and is asked to take it down.

A professor in the computer science department at Johns Hopkins, a leading American university, had written a post on his blog, hosted on the university's servers, focused on his area of expertise, which is cryptography. The post was highly critical of the government, specifically the National Security Agency, whose reckless behavior in attacking online security astonished him.

On Monday, he gets a note from the acting dean of the engineering school asking him to take the post down and stop using the NSA logo as clip art in his posts. The email also informs him that if he resists he will need a lawyer.

Why would an academic dean cave under pressure and send the takedown request without careful review, which would have easily discovered, for example, that the classified documents to which the blog post linked were widely available in the public domain?

The Military

United States Begins Flying Stealth Bombers Over South Korea 567

skade88 writes "The New York Times is reporting that the United States has started flying B-2 stealth bomber runs over South Korea as a show of force to North Korea. The bombers flew 6,500 miles to bomb a South Korean island with mock explosives. Earlier this month the U.S. Military ran mock B-52 bombing runs over the same South Korean island. The U.S. military says it shows that it can execute precision bombing runs at will with little notice needed. The U.S. also reaffirmed their commitment to protecting its allies in the region. The North Koreans have been making threats to turn South Korea into a sea of fire. North Korea has also made threats claiming they will nuke the United States' mainland."

Submission + - How to make a DVD-rental store more relevant? 5

smi.james.th writes: Here on Slashdot, the concept that older models of business need to be updated to keep with the times is often mentioned. A friend of mine owns a DVD rental store, and he often listens to potential customers walk out, saying that they'd rather download the movie, and not because his prices are unreasonable. With the local telco on a project to boost internet speeds, my friend feels as though the end is near for his livelihood. So, Slashdotters, I put it to you: What can a DVD store owner do to make his store more relevant? What services would you pay for at a DVD store?
Youtube

Submission + - How can I fight harassing copyright claims on youtube? (youtube.com) 1

Vivaldimort writes: "A few weeks ago I uploaded a video consisting of a non-commercial recording of myself playing music whose composer has been dead for 250+ years, with sheet music published over 150 years ago. Immediately and as per usual, several companies claimed copyright infringement. I disputed all of these with a careful message explaining how this piece is my own intellectual property. One company, however, which goes by the name of "The Harry Fox Agency, Inc." still claims this piece is a work called "Groundhog", to which they own the copyright. It is most certainly not. The claim can be viewed here: http://i49.tinypic.com/4gb4p.png
However, once a copyright claim has been reinstated — there is simply no way for me to dispute it further via youtube. Now not only does my video display ads (generating revenues from my intellectual property to the above agency), but my credibility has lowered. I ask you, slashdotters, what can one do in these situations? In addition, if a company wilfully claims copyright (as opposed to having a bot do it) on material not belonging to it in order to generate profit, is it not fraudulent?"

Programming

Submission + - How Would You Fix the Linux Desktop? (itworld.com) 2

itwbennett writes: "Slashdot readers are familiar with the Torvalds/de Icaza slugfest over 'the lack of development in Linux desktop initiatives.' The problem with the Linux desktop boils down to this: We need more apps, and that means making it easier for developers to build them, says Brian Proffitt. 'It's easy to point at solutions like the Linux Standard Base, but that dog won't hunt, possibly because it's not in the commercial vendors' interests to create true cross-distro compatibility. United Linux or a similar consortium probably won't work, for the same reasons,' says Proffitt. So, we put it to the Slashdot community: How would you fix the Linux desktop?"

Submission + - Samsung Behold II not Android Getting 2.x (androidheadlines.com)

boloj writes: In a video released to youtube on November 7, 2009, Samsung promises Behold II owners that they will get upgraded to Android 2.x when it arrived. These same users are still sitting at 1.6. They have waited patiently as updates rolled out hoping they would be next. Well it turns out their patience may be in vain after all.
PC Games (Games)

EA Launches Ultima-Based Browser Game 106

On Monday Electronic Arts launched Lord of Ultima, a free-to-play, browser-based strategy game that's based on the Ultima universe. Quoting VG247: "Set in the new world of Caledonia, players start the game as conquerors raising an empire, and then move from developing a village to evolving it into a highly customized capital. Players can be peaceful merchants by trading resources over land or sea and using diplomacy, or become feared conquerors using armies of knights and mages to crush their enemies one by one in maniacal glee."
Power

Printable Batteries Should Arrive Next Year 92

FullBandwidth writes "Paper-thin batteries that can be printed onto greeting cards or other flexible substrates have been demonstrated at Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems in Germany. The batteries have a relatively short life span, as the anode and cathode materials dissipate over time. However, they contain no hazardous materials."
Power

Submission + - Printable batteries set to arrive by 2010

FullBandwidth writes: Paper-thin batteries that can be printed onto greeting cards or other flexible substrates have been demonstrated at Fraunhofer Research Institution for Electronic Nano Systems in Germany. The batteries have a relatively short life span, as the anode and cathode materials dissipate over time. However, they contain no hazardous materials.
Movies

Sharing 2,999 Songs, 199 Movies Is Safe In Germany 212

unassimilatible writes "Torrentfreak is reporting that German prosecutors will now only pursue larger-scale file sharers on the Internet, as they are tired of being the entertainment industry's profit collector. 'Prosecutors in a German state have announced they will refuse to entertain the majority of file-sharing lawsuits in [the] future. It appears that only commercial-scale copyright infringers will be pursued, with those sharing under 3,000 music tracks and 200 movies dropping under the prosecution radar.' And the money quote: 'It seems that the legal system in Germany has had enough of this "abuse" of the criminal law system for "civil" monetary gain.' If only an American politician would make this point. Why should taxpayers underwrite their government becoming enforcers for the entertainment industry? Then again, when you see how much politicians are being paid, an answer suggests itself."
Microsoft

Submission + - Researchers blast Vista Service Pack 1

Stony Stevenson writes: A group of researchers has described Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista Service Pack 1 as a "performance dud". Researchers from the EXO Performance Network claimed that a series of in-house benchmark tests showed that users hoping to receive a speed boost from the update will be disappointed. "After extensive testing of Release To Manufacture and SP1-patched versions of Vista it seems clear that the hoped-for performance fixes that Microsoft has been hinting at have not materialised," the group said.

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