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Submission + - Defcad.org seized, shut down (defcad.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Defcad has been shut down. The Defcad/Defensedistributed crowd has been indicted on multiple counts which can be viewed at defcad.org.

Submission + - Top 10 Gamer Friendly Cities in the USA (movoto.com)

NikoJamison writes: "In order to try and determine which cities in the United States are more 'gamer friendly' Movoto, a real estate brokerage, ranked cities based on number of arcades, demographics, quality of internet speed, game stores and ECA chapters. It turned into a pretty interesting list; Atlanta actually scored highest, followed by Seattle and Denver."

Submission + - Apple's March Madness a Sign of Better Things to Come (ibtimes.co.uk) 1

DavidGilbert99 writes: "It's been like shooting fish in a barrel these last six months when writing negatively about Apple. With years of pent up frustration many people have been laying into the once-untouchable company.
Predictions the company will announce its first quarter of negative income growth next month have added fuel to the fire, but reports of Apple's demise may be very much premature, according to one independent analyst.
Paul Leitao believes March signals the end of one cycle and the beginning of another where Apple's fortunes are likely to turn around and all those who laughed at the company will be left with egg on their faces."


Submission + - New Brain Implant Transmits Wirelessly to Computer (singularityhub.com)

kkleiner writes: "Scientists at Brown University have made a brain implant that can record and transmit brain signals to a computer wirelessly. Free from onerous connections and wires, the technology could foster the development of a new generation of more flexible robotics to help amputees, spinal cord injury victims, or people with crippling neurological disorders. Referred to the researchers affectionately as the “can,” the titanium-enclosed device measures 2.2 inches (56 mm) long, 1.65 inches (42 mm) wide, and 0.35 inches (9 mm) thick. That’s pretty small considering it contains an array of 100 electrodes, a lithium ion battery, and custom-designed ultralow-power integrated circuits, radio and infrared wireless transmitters, and a copper coil for recharging."
The Courts

Submission + - Brain scans predict which criminals are more likely to reoffend (nature.com)

ananyo writes: "In a twist that evokes the dystopian science fiction of writer Philip K. Dick, neuroscientists have found a way to predict whether convicted felons are likely to commit crimes again from looking at their brain scans. Convicts showing low activity in a brain region associated with decision-making and action are more likely to be arrested again, and sooner.
The researchers studied a group of 96 male prisoners just before their release. They used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the prisoners’ brains during computer tasks in which subjects had to make quick decisions and inhibit impulsive reactions. The scans focused on activity in a section of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a small region in the front of the brain involved in motor control and executive functioning. The researchers then followed the ex-convicts for four years to see how they fared. Among the subjects of the study, men who had lower ACC activity during the quick-decision tasks were more likely to be arrested again after getting out of prison, even after the researchers accounted for other risk factors such as age, drug and alcohol abuse and psychopathic traits."


Wikileaks Gets Domain Back, Injunction Dissolved 70

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "The judge in the Wikileaks case has dissolved the injunction against Wikileaks, which means that it can get its .org domain back. He defended his prior ruling because it was based on the pittance of information the bank and registrar had provided him, saying 'This is a case in which we had a (dispute) with named parties, and the parties were duly served. One of which properly responded and came to this court with a proposed settlement in this lawsuit... Nobody filed any timely responses to the court's order.'"

New Radar Maps of Moon 70

SpaceAdmiral writes to mention that NASA has some new high-resolution radar maps of the Moon obtained by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new images have also been used to create a simulation of the Moon's day and a movie of a Moon landing from the point of view of the astronaut. "NASA is eying the Moon's south polar region as a possible site for future outposts. The location has many advantages; for one thing, there is evidence of water frozen in deep dark south polar craters. Water can be split into oxygen to breathe and hydrogen to burn as rocket fuel--or astronauts could simply drink it. Planners are also looking for 'peaks of eternal light.' Tall polar mountains where the sun never sets might be a good place for a solar power station."

Submission + - Woz: Apple almost sold out to Commodore (itworld.com)

hoagiecat writes: At a panel where early computer innovators reminisced, Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak outlined an interesting scenario: he says that he and Steve Jobs tried to sell the prototype Apple II to Commodore. "Steve [Jobs] started saying all we want to do was offer [Apple II] for a few hundred thousand dollars, and we will get jobs at Commodore, we'll get some stock and we'll be in charge of running the program," Woz said. Instead, Commodore went out on its own with the C64, Jobs and Woz sold the Apple II themselves — and the rest is history...

Submission + - Antivirus: A waste of 50% of your HD throughput? (codinghorror.com)

dwalsh writes: Are we wasting our (Windows) computers performance on a placebo? Jeff Atwood seems to think so:

"The performance cost of virus scanning (lose 50% of disk performance, plus some percent of CPU speed) does not justify the benefit of a 33% detection rate and marginal protection."

"Ask yourself this: why don't Mac users run anti-virus software? Why don't UNIX users run anti-virus software? Because they don't need to. They don't run as administrators."

The article is a criticism of AV as a blacklist approach, that mostly protects against last months viruses. How many Slashdot Windows users rely solely on a firewall, a decent web browser, and good common sense (like Momma used to make it) when it comes to attachments?


Overcoming Challenges To Game 30

1up has another feature up worth investigating, this one detailing the challenges faced by gamers with disabilities who just want to enjoy their hobby. The article discusses gals and guys who may be physically different than the average gamer, but who seek that Mortal Kombat fatality or enjoy the story of Half-Life 2 just as much as anyone else. They also touch on the unique peripherals available to players who may not be able to utilize standard controllers, and the palliative effect that games can have on folks in stressful circumstances (as we've seen via Child's Play in the past). It's just another instance where the usual gaming labels break down in the face of reality: "In the media's rush to blame school shootings on violent videogames, sometimes stories about gaming's role in communication and positive tenacity get left behind. While some parents worry about their children submerging themselves in the fantasy worlds of videogames and losing themselves to the real world, that same 'escape' often proves soothing to gamers who, for various reasons, are cut off to the world around them."

Are TV Pharmaceutical Ads Damaging? 383

trivialscene asks: "ABC News is carrying an article about a recently published study in the medical research journal Annals of Family Medicine which examined prime time television ads run by pharmaceutical companies. The researchers concluded that the generally ambiguous ads, which appeal almost entirely to emotion rather than fact, tend to confuse viewers. They also suggest that the ads may be creating problems at the doctor's office, as some people might become convinced they need a particular medication and insist on getting it, rather than leaving the decision to trained medical professionals. What do you think about the presence of drug advertisements on television?"

Submission + - Wind power not always green

MattSparkes writes: "If wind turbines are planned carefully then they are a fantastic way to produce clean power, but if they are built without thinking then they may be more a part of the problem than the solution. When digging foundations for a turbine, a landslide was triggered, "That night almost half a square kilometre of bog slid 2.5 kilometres down the hillside, engulfing an unoccupied farmhouse and blocking two roads."."

Submission + - Your guide to Mastering Ajax on Rails

Brian DeLacey writes: "Book Review Title: Your guide to mastering Ajax on Rails

Ajax on Rails, by Scott Raymond
336 pages, O'Reilly Media (Published, January 3, 2007)

Scott Raymond's book "Ajax on Rails" was published in January and is a timely guide for interactive web development using Ajax and Rails. The book starts with the basics, transitions to intermediate techniques, and finishes with a flourish of full source to three life-sized Rails applications using Ajax. (The sample applications can be downloaded from the publisher's site at http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596527440/#.) This book is worth a look for novices and experts.

The author writes that Ajax is "a really simple idea: web pages, already loaded in a browser, can talk with the server and potentially change themselves as a result." [p. 2] He then leads you beyond the mystery of Ajax to reveal why "Ajax on Rails" is such a powerful approach to building fun, effective, and highly interactive web applications.

One of the real strengths of this book is its many easy-to-follow examples. I found even tricky techniques described clearly. I typed in code samples as I read and found it to be highly accurate. Having a working Rails installation is key for getting the most out of the book. All the software you'll need to get going is freely available on the net.

The centerpiece of the book is Chapter 5, "RJS" (also known as Ruby-generated Javascript.) A number of more advanced technical topics, often overlooked, are also covered: `Usability', 'Testing and Debugging', 'Performance' and 'Security'.

The author does an elegant job taking the reader from simple code snippets to more complex applications. I applied what I was learning to my own Rails project as I read along. The book is the right size: it won't break your bookshelf at just over 300 pages. (The book could be even better if it left out some of the details of Prototype and script.aculo.us, which could be easily referred to on the web.)

"Ajax on Rails" was a joy to read and work through. The title nails the topic: this is a defining text. The material is clearly organized. The writing moves at a great pace. You can't beat the sample code. (I expect I'll be referring back to it in the future.) This book is a terrific tool for mastering two phenomenal web developments — Ajax and Rails. The author's website, http://scottraymond.net/, provides more background and adds supporting, up-dated information and is worth visiting.

Reviewer Brian DeLacey, founder of the "Greater Boston Ruby and Rails Group" (www.greaterbostonrubyandrails.com)

[EDITORS, PLEASE NOTE — The following information is for your background and not for publication.]

Full Disclosure: "Greater Boston Ruby and Rails Group" is recognized as a user group by O'Reilly Media, the publisher of Ajax on Rails.

DeLacey has published or co-authored works related to information systems, industry standards, innovation, and open source (e.g. http://blog.hitachixbrl.com/2007/01/23/open-source -and-xbrl/ ) DeLacey worked in software at Lotus Development for 13 years and research at the Harvard Business School for eight years.

The reviewer believes an important part of adopting important, new, innovative technologies is getting the word out and providing supporting educational materials. Great books do that. As a result, the reviewer decided to write some reviews in support of his enthusiasm for Ruby, Rails and related technologies, including open source.

A substantially different version of this review may appear elsewhere:

http://www.oreillynet.com/cs/catalog/view/cs_msg/8 8674
http://www.amazon.com/Ajax-Rails-Scott-Raymond/dp/ 0596527446
http://amapedia.amazon.com/view/Ajax+on+Rails/id=1 45492

Email: bdelacey@gmail.com"

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