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Submission + - Google Launches Facebook Disconnect (google.com) 1

digitaldc writes: Facebook is notified whenever you visit one of the more than one million sites on the web that use Facebook Connect and has a history of leaking personally identifiable information to third parties.

Turn off the flow of your data to them!

Facebook Disconnect blocks all traffic from third-party sites to Facebook servers, yet you’ll still be able to access Facebook itself.


Submission + - Top things to do after installing Ubuntu 10.10 1

donadony writes: The final release of Ubuntu 10.10 Marevick Meerkat will be out this week, after you install or upgrade to this new release, mostly you will need to customize your ubuntu by installing all needed software, tools, games and repositories in your system. This is a nice post with more than 20Top things to do after installing Maverick Meerkat. We can discuss which more things are important to install after a fresh install, this make it easy for many people to customize their system, especially for newbies.
The Military

Submission + - Warriors, not Geeks, run Cyber Command (washingtonpost.com)

koterica writes: The Washington Post is explains why the military prefers to have combat veterans rather than geeks running network security.

"It was supposed to be a war fighter unit, not a geek unit," said task force veteran Jason Healey, who had served as an Air Force signals intelligence officer. A fighter would understand, for instance, if an enemy had penetrated the networks and changed coordinates or target times, said Dusty Rhoads, a retired Air Force colonel and former F-117 pilot who recruited the original task force members. "A techie wouldn't have a clue," he said.


Submission + - Eclipse vs. IntelliJ vs. NetBeans vs. JDeveloper (infoworld.com)

snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Andrew Binstock provides an in-depth comparative review of the leading Java IDEs: Eclipse, JetBrains IntelliJ IDEA, NetBeans, and Oracle JDeveloper. 'The IDEs in this roundup reflect the remarkable richness and maturity of Java tools. They all have excellent support for coding and development; they also have strong support for refactoring, syntax checking, and debugging,' Binstock writes. 'The characteristics that distinguish these products have shifted somewhat during the last five years. While the breadth of features for Java development separated the tools in the past, the primary differentiators today are ease-of-use, quality of documentation and help systems, and the range of plug-ins.'"

Submission + - Competitor threatens suit - counter DMCA takedown?

An anonymous reader writes: Zen Magnets, a maker of neodymium magnets, has been under assault by the much larger and better distributed Buckyballs, a maker of a nearly identical toy. After Zen Magnets listed a couple of eBay auctions with a set of Buckyballs and a set of their own, asking customers to decide which was higher quality, Buckyballs replied with a legal threat. Zen Magnets responded with an open video response, in which they presented the voicemail from Buckyballs and demonstrated their claims of quality through repeatable, factual tests, providing quantitative data to back up their assertions.

Soon after, Buckyballs CEO Jake Bronstein got the video taken down from Youtube via a DMCA takedown, despite the fact that the only elements not made by Zen Magnets are the voicemail he left and some images of himself, which are low resolution and publicly available online.

Zen Magnets is now asking for help as they don't know what to do. It's appalling and I can't imagine that it is infringing, but I am not a lawyer. What would you do in this scenario?

(I am affiliated with neither company, although Thinkgeek sells Buckyballs...Slashdot & ThinkGeek share a corporate overlord.)

Submission + - Computers Aren't Fast Enough For Weather (komonews.com)

The Installer writes: I am no weather nerd, but I thought this was a great explanation of what meteorologists have to deal with, and more importantly the computers and math they use to create their forecast. According to the article author the sheer amount of data needed to have more accurate forecasts is not possible to compute yet. From the article:

"Think about just how much air is on the planet — the surface area of Earth is roughly 15.7 million miles and the troposphere, which is basically where our weather occurs, extends from the ground to roughly 40,000 feet (or roughly 7 1/2 miles) high. That's an incredible playground for weather to be created and move around.

To have a perfect computer model, we would need to know what is going on at every parcel of air at a given moment, have a perfect terrain map of every inch of the globe, and then have the perfect mathematical equations to calculate that data, and account for every nook and cranny on the planet that could affect the data.

But we don't know what is going on at every parcel of air. So what we do is take what observations we do have, and then extrapolate the data to fill in the gaps, which leaves us prone to errors if we make assumptions on what is going on in those gaps, and those assumptions turn out to be wrong."

Can someone do the math and find out how many square miles of "playground" the author is talking about ? ;-)


Submission + - Facebook Competitor Diaspora Revealed: Sparse, But (techcrunch.com)

jamie writes: "A post has just gone up on Diaspora's blog revealing what the project actually looks like for the first time. While it's not yet ready to be released to the public, the open-source social networking project is giving the world a glimpse of what it looks like today and also releasing the project code, as promised.

At first glance, this preview version of Diaspora looks sparse, but clean. Oddly enough, with its big pictures and stream, it doesn't look unlike Apple's new Ping music social network mixed with yes, Facebook. A few features they note:"

Submission + - Quantity vs. Quality in game development

An anonymous reader writes: I am a flash game developer for an educational company. I've been here for over a year now and have been slowly changing the culture of the game development. We now have small beta groups for new games and outsource a lot less. The owner has started to get impatient though and wants to get more and more games out. I see about 3 new game proposals a week and they are starting to talk about freelancing out the ones I don't have time to do. They expect the entire build time of a game to be under 40 hours before moving on to the next game. Is there a good way to get the owner to understand that we need quality over quantity? Or am I wrong and should we just keep putting out a large quantity without a focus on the individual quality?

Comment Old News (Score 2, Interesting) 184

Yeah, and this has been the case since, oh, 2001? Well, at least it seems that's when it started to be enforced more strictly. I've heard rumblings that the administration was going to change it, but who knows how likely that is.

Hmmm... I wonder if we could correlate the US's drop in space proficiency with when ITAR for space components started?

Submission + - Futurama Writer Creates New Math Theorem (geekosystem.com)

kevin_conaway writes: In the latest episode of Futurama, writer Ken Keeler wrote and proved a new math theorem based on group theory. From the article:

We all knew the writing staff of Futurama was brainy, but this is something else. In the episode “The Prisoner of Benda,” the Professor and Amy use a new invention to switch bodies. Unfortunately, they discover that the same two brains can’t switch twice and have to come up with some equation to prove that, with enough people switching, eventually everyone will end up in their rightful form. To work out the ridiculous brain switching plot line, writer Ken Keeler (who also just happens to have a PhD in mathematics) ended up writing and proving an entirely new theorem


Submission + - Scott Adams (almost) saves the planet (wsj.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In spite of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, his suspicious neighbors, Scott Adams builds himself a "green" house (as opposed to a greenhouse), and details his experience for those interested in following in his missteps.

Submission + - Engineering Firm Tries to Tackle Wind Farm Noise (theglobeandmail.com)

An anonymous reader writes: "There is no accepted procedure anywhere for measuring noise from turbines, Ontario officials say, so Aercoustics’ report could help set standards across the country and internationally...Critics say the noise and vibrations from turbines can cause a variety of health problems – including stress and sleep deprivation – for those who live nearby"

Submission + - Samsung Galaxy Tab Spied in the wild (Video) (trippletech.com)

hasanabbas1987 writes: Man, you just can’t hide your gadgets from curious onlookers these days. Case in point: Samsung’s Galaxy Tab was innocently doing some testing rounds through Sydney recently, only to be happened upon by the Electronista scribes, who diligently videotaped it — seemingly without the knowledge of the tablet’s possessor. The video confirms what we already know, it’s a 7-inch tablet, it’ll be driven by an Android, and it looks very much like a giant cellphone. The Samsung employee described it as “awesome” and very different from the iPad’s experience, while the UI apparently looked very responsive. Go after the break to see for yourself.

Submission + - NASA Set to Launch Solar NanoSail into Space (inhabitat.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year the Japanese space agency successfully deployed and used a solar sail to propel its spacecraft Ikaros, and now NASA announced plans this week for its own solar sail mission. This fall it will launch the NanoSail-D into orbit 400 miles up with a Minotaur IV rocket. Once deployed, it will orbit for 17 weeks, proving the technology and allowing astronomers to snap lots of photos.

Submission + - How DNA evidence creates victims of chance (newscientist.com)

azoblue writes: Even when analysts agree that someone could be a match for a piece of DNA evidence, the statistical weight assigned to that match can vary enormously, even by orders of magnitude. For instance, in one man's trial the DNA evidence statistic ranged from 1/95,000 to 1/13, depending on the different weighing methods used by the defense and the prosecution.

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