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Submission + - In violent video games, teens face (and fight) the (heaven4geeks.com)

kingkaos69 writes: Sixteen-year-old Evan Jones played his first violent videogames when he was 3. He slew demons in Diablo II, blasted Lovecraftian horrors in Quake and shot terrorists in Counter-Strike. If you buy conventional wisdom, by now Jones should be a tightly wound coil of aggression, ready to attack someone at the slightest provocation. Instead, he’s a pretty...
Idle

Submission + - 30 Creative 404 Error Pages (flashuser.net) 1

An anonymous reader writes: It’s frustrating sometimes when you explore the web and encount the famous message 404 Error – Page Not Found. I’m pretty sure that after 1 seconds or 2 if there’s nothing that will grab your attention, you’ll leave the page and never come back. So it’s good to take in consideration customizing the 404 page and prevent the users leaving your website.
Google

Submission + - US Patent Office teams with Google on database (nextgov.com)

PatPending writes: From the article:

The Patent and Trademark Office announced today it has reached a two-year "no-cost" agreement with Google to make patent and trademark data electronically available for free to the public in bulk form.

Saying it lacks the technical capacity to offer such a service, PTO said the two-year agreement with Google is a temporary solution while the agency seeks a contractor to build a database that would allow the public to access such information in electronic machine-readable bulk form.

Security

Submission + - New IE Zero-day Puts Windows XP Users at Risk (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: Microsoft said on Sunday that it was investigating an unpatched bug in VBScript that hackers could exploit to plant malware on Windows XP machines running Internet Explorer. The flaw could be used by attackers to inject malicious code onto victims' PCs, said Maurycy Prodeus, a security analyst with iSEC Security Research who revealed the vulnerability and posted attack code on Friday. Users running IE7 or the newer IE8 are at risk, said Prodeus. Microsoft noted it's already on the case. 'Microsoft is investigating new public claims of a vulnerability involving the use of VBScript and Windows Help files within Internet Explorer,' said Jerry Bryant of the Microsoft Security Response Center. 'The current state of our investigations shows that Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2, are not affected.' Bryant added they had not yet seen any evidence of attacks exploiting the vulnerability. Prodeus called the bug a 'logic flaw,' and said attackers could exploit it by feeding users malicious code disguised as a Windows help file — such files have a '.hlp' extension — then convincing them to press the F1 key when a pop-up appeared. He rated the vulnerability as 'medium' because of the required user interaction.
Hardware

Submission + - G-Speak: 'Minority Report' style gesture based UI (physorg.com)

Rexdude writes: A new system being developed by Oblong Industries harnesses gesture technology that uses special surfaces and displays that can track hand movements, providing the operator is wearing the special conducting gloves. The system works with images and videos, and has been dubbed the “G-Speak” spatial operating environment (SOE).
The Internet

Submission + - Print papers surpassed by online in the US (ibtimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Online news has become more popular than regular print newspapers in the US, according to a new study. The form has quickly evolved to become the third most popular form overall, just behind local and national television stations, Pew Research said.
Databases

How Twitter Is Moving To the Cassandra Database 157

MyNoSQL has up an interview with Ryan King on how Twitter is transitioning to the Cassandra database. Here's some detailed background on Cassandra, which aims to "bring together Dynamo's fully distributed design and Bigtable's ColumnFamily-based data model." Before settling on Cassandra, the Twitter team looked into: "...HBase, Voldemort, MongoDB, MemcacheDB, Redis, Cassandra, HyperTable, and probably some others I'm forgetting. ... We're currently moving our largest (and most painful to maintain) table — the statuses table, which contains all tweets and retweets. ... Some side notes here about importing. We were originally trying to use the BinaryMemtable interface, but we actually found it to be too fast — it would saturate the backplane of our network. We've switched back to using the Thrift interface for bulk loading (and we still have to throttle it). The whole process takes about a week now. With infinite network bandwidth we could do it in about 7 hours on our current cluster." Relatedly, an anonymous reader notes that the upcoming NoSQL Live conference, which will take place in Boston March 11th, has announced their lineup of speakers and panelists including Ryan King and folks from LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, and Rackspace.
Cellphones

Submission + - Using a phone's compass to recognise gestures (newscientist.com)

holy_calamity writes: Researchers at Deutsch Telekom have created smartphone software that makes it possible to issue commands to a phone by waving around a magnet held in the hand, or worn on a ring. The capability to recognise 3D gestures in this way could be rolled out rapidly through app stores, since compass sensors are fast becoming a standard feature. Example gestures include a sharp wave to silence a ringing phone, and gestures behind to phone to control a map without obscuring the display.
Privacy

Submission + - Widespread Data Breaches Uncovered By FTC Probe (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Federal Trade Commission has notified almost 100 organizations that personal information, including sensitive data about customers and/or employees, has been shared from the organizations' computer networks and is available on peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks to any users of those networks, who could use it to commit identity theft or fraud. The agency also has opened non-public investigations of other companies whose customer or employee information has been exposed on P2P networks.
Iphone

Submission + - The iPhone Just Became A Lot Less Sexy (nytimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple is now removing many risque applications from its App Store so as not to 'scare off potential customers.' The removed applications, including SlideHer and Dirty Fingers, allowed people to see scantily clad women. Although they were once approved by Apple, even reaching the most downloaded lists, Apple removed them after getting complaints that they were degrading to women. That said, the Sports Illustrated application is still available for those who want scantily clad women on their iPhone. It's sure a good thing for those worried parents that they don't have any kind of web browser on there. On the internet, you're never more than one click away from something horrible.
The Almighty Buck

Do Video Games Cost Too Much? 763

Valve's Gabe Newell gave the keynote address at this year's Design, Innovate, Communicate, Entertain (DICE) Summit about the cost of games, the effect of piracy, and how to reach new players. Valve undertook an experiment recently to test how price affected the sales of their popular survival-horror FPS, Left 4 Dead. They Reduced the price by 50% on Steam, which "resulted in a 3000% increase in sales of the game, posting overall sales that beat the title's original launch performance." They also tested various other price drops over the holidays, seeing spikes in sales that corresponded well to the size of the discount. This will undoubtedly add to the speculation that game prices have risen too high for the current economic climate. G4TV ran a live blog of Newell's presentation, providing a few more details.
Science

Human Eye Could Detect Spooky Action At a Distance 255

KentuckyFC writes "The human eye is a good photon detector--it's sensitive enough to spot photons in handfuls. So what if you swapped a standard photon detector with a human eye in the ongoing experiments to measure spooky-action-at-a-distance? (That's the ability of entangled photons to influence each other, no matter how far apart they might be.) A team of physicists in Switzerland have worked out the details and say that in principle there is no reason why human eyes couldn't do this kind of experiment. That would be cool because it would ensure that the two human observers involved in the test would become entangled, albeit for a short period time. The team, led by Nic Gisin, a world leader on entanglement, says it is actively pursuing this goal (abstract) so we could have the first humans to experience entanglement within months."

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