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Why Anonymous Can't Take Down Amazon.com 392

suraj.sun writes "The website-attacking group 'Anonymous' tried and failed to take down Amazon.com on Thursday. The group's vengeance horde quickly found out something techies have known for years: Amazon, which has built one of the world's most invincible websites, is almost impossible to crash.... Anonymous quickly figured that out. Less than an hour after setting its sights on Amazon, the group's organizers called off the attempt. 'We don't have enough forces,' they tweeted."

Comic Sales Soar After Artist Engages 4chan Pirates 305

An anonymous reader writes "Steve Lieber, the artist behind the graphic novel Underground, discovered that someone on 4chan had scanned and posted the entire comic. Rather than complaining, he joined the conversation, chatting with the 4channers about the comic... and the next day he saw his sales jump to unheard-of levels, much higher than he'd seen even when the comic book was reviewed on popular sites like Boing Boing."
Social Networks

"David After Dentist" Made $150k For Family Screenshot-sm 234

It turns out recording your drugged child pays pretty well. 7-year-old David DeVore became an overnight sensation when his father posted a video of his ramblings after dental surgery. To date that video has made the DeVore family around $150,000. Most of the money came from YouTube, but the family has made $50k from licensing and merchandise. From the article: "The one seemingly minor decision to make the video available all over the Internet set off a whirlwind of changes for the DeVore family. Within just four days, 'David After Dentist' received 3 million views on YouTube and the younger David quickly became an Internet celebrity. His father quit his job in residential real estate (did we mention they live in Florida?), and the family started selling T-shirts featuring cartoon drawings of their son post-dental surgery."
Input Devices

Software Describes Surveillance Footage In AI-Generated Text 132

holy_calamity writes "A computer vision research group at UCLA has put together a system that watches surveillance footage and generates a text description of the events in real time. It only works on traffic cameras for now but demonstrates how sophisticated computer vision is becoming. Interestingly, the system was built thanks to a database of millions of human-labeled images put together by Chinese workers."

Devices To Take Textbooks Beyond Text 115

An anonymous reader writes with a New York Times piece about the tumultuous transition to electronic devices, instead of printed materials, for text. "Newspapers and novels are moving briskly from paper to pixels, but textbooks have yet to find the perfect electronic home. They are readable on laptops and smartphones, but the displays can be eye-taxing. Even dedicated e-readers with their crisp printlike displays can’t handle textbook staples like color illustrations or the videos and Web-linked supplements publishers increasingly supply. Now there is a new approach that may adapt well to textbook pages: two-screen e-book readers with a traditional e-paper display on one screen and a liquid-crystal display on the other to render graphics like science animations in color."

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child Screenshot-sm 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."
The Military

The Jet Fighter Laser Cannon 464

fahrbot-bot sends in a Register piece about DARPA issuing the penultimate contract for what is intended to be a jet-mounted laser cannon. The Reg outdoes itself in a BOTEC involving downsizing to shark scale. "The US military will shortly issue a brace of contracts for 'refrigerator sized' laser blaster cannons. One of the deals will see a full-power ground prototype built which will be the final stage prior to America's first raygun-equipped jet fighter. ... If it scales down far enough, this would seem to put handheld HELL-guns within an order of magnitude of the striking power offered by conventional small-arms. A 9mm pistol bullet has about 750 joules muzzle energy: a 5kg portable HELL-ray weapon would put out this much energy in a blast less than a second long. ... A dolphin can carry a human being weighing up to 100kg along for a ride. A thoroughbred shark in good training can surely match this. Thus, we seem to be looking at practicable head-[laser] output in the 20-kilowatt range."

Apple Says Booting OS X Makes an Unauthorized Copy 865

recoiledsnake writes "Groklaw has an extensive look at the latest developments in the Psystar vs. Apple story. There's a nice picture illustrating the accusation by Apple that Psystar makes three unauthorized copies of OS X. The most interesting, however, is the last copy. From Apple's brief: 'Finally, every time Psystar turns on any of the Psystar computers running Mac OS X, which it does before shipping each computer, Psystar necessarily makes a separate modified copy of Mac OS X in Random Access Memory, or RAM. This is the third unlawful copy.' Psystar's response: 'Copying a computer program into RAM as a result of installing and running that program is precisely the copying that Section 117 provides does not constitute copyright infringement for an owner of a computer program. As the Ninth Circuit explained, permitting copies like this was Section 117's purpose.' Is Apple seriously arguing that installing a third party program and booting OS X results in copyright infringement due to making a derivative work and an unauthorized copy?"

Computer-Based System To Crack Down On Casino Card Counters 597

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from Yahoo Tech outlining a system currently being researched: "Card counting is perfectly legal — all a counter does is attempt to keep track of whether the cards remaining in a deck are favorable to his winning a hand (mainly if there are lots of tens and aces remaining in the deck) — but it's deeply frowned upon by Vegas casinos. Those caught counting cards are regularly expelled from casinos on the spot and are often permanently banned from returning. But given the slim house odds on Blackjack, it's often said that a good card counter can actually tip the odds in his favor by carefully controlling the way he bets his hands. And Vegas really doesn't care for that. The anti-card-counter system uses cameras to watch players and keep track of the actual 'count' of the cards, the same way a player would. It also measures how much each player is betting on each hand, and it syncs up the two data points to look for patterns in the action. If a player is betting big when the count is indeed favorable, and keeping his chips to himself when it's not, he's fingered by the computer... and, in the real world, he'd probably receive a visit from a burly dude in a bad suit, too. The system reportedly works even if the gambler intentionally attempts to mislead it with high bets at unfavorable times." It's not developed in Vegas, though, according to the brief description (the other projects are also interesting) from the University of Dundee's release, but rather in conjunction with the Dundee Casino.
The Internet

1Mb Broadband Access Becomes Legal Right In Finland 875

An anonymous reader writes "Starting next July, every person in Finland will have the right to a one-megabit broadband connection, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications. Finland is the world's first country to create laws guaranteeing broadband access. The Finnish people are also legally guaranteed a 100Mb broadband connection by the end of 2015."

High-Temp Superconductors To Connect Power Grids 332

physburn writes "Somewhere in a triangle between Roswell (UFO) NM, Albuquerque (Left Turn) NM, and Amarillo (Do you know the way?) TX, a 22.5 square mile triangle of High Temperature Superconductor pipeline is to be built. Each leg of the triangle can carry 5GW of electricity. The purpose to load-balance and sell electricity between America's three power grids. Previously the Eastern Grid, Western Grid and Texan Grid have been separate, preventing cheap electricity being sold from one end of America to the other. The Tres Amiga Superstation, as it is to be called, will finally connect the three grids. The superstation is also designed to link renewable solar and wind power in the grids, and is to use HTS wire from American Superconductor. Some 23 years after its invention, today HTS comes of age. "

Submission + - Malaysia Slows Divorce Rate With Free Honeymoons

samzenpus writes: Officials in Malaysia are trying to slow down the divorce rate by offering feuding couples a three-day honeymoon package to help bring that spark back into their marriages. After all, what could more romantic than three days of talking about your faults over a lovely fruit plate, and three drunken nights at the hotel bar watching the love of your life flirt with some random guy on a business trip? Terengganu Welfare Community Development and Women Affairs committee chairman, Ashaari Idris says, 'We can understand newlyweds having problems understanding one another, where a slight skirmish could lead to a separation but it is unacceptable for those married more than two decades to file for divorce.'

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