[slashdot.org] FCC Inquires Into Its Own Authority To Regulate Communication Service Shutdowns

New submitter DnaK writes "The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing whether or when the police and other government officials can intentionally interrupt cellphone and Internet service to protect public safety. A scary proposition which will easily become a First Amendment issue. Does the FCC have the authority to [regulate local or state authorities' decision to] take down cellular networks if they determine there is an imminent threat? The FCC is currently asking for public input (PDF) on this decision." According to the article, "among the issues on which the F.C.C. is seeking comment is whether it even has authority over the issue. The public notice asks for comment on whether the F.C.C. itself has legal authority over shutdowns of wireless service and whether it can pre-empt local, state or federal laws that prohibit or constrain the ability of anyone to interrupt service." Maybe they just don't like being upstaged by BART.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] Microsoft's Azure cloud leap-day meltdown
Linux and Open Source: "Everyone makes mistakes, but for Microsoft to make a killer leap day blunder with its Azure cloud service is inexcusable."
[osnews.com] Mac OS X posts record gain as Windows XP continues to slide
On the heels of yesterday's launch of Windows 8's preview, new statistics show that Microsoft's decade-old Windows XP again plummeted in usage share and will be surpassed by Windows 7 in June.
[osnews.com] Ars Spots iOS 6 in Its Logs
Are employees at Apple already using the so-called iPad 3"possibly running iOS 6"to surf the Web ahead of its expected announcement on March 7? We're not sure, but the Ars magic 8-ball says "signs point to yes."
[slashdot.org] How Publishers Learned To Stop Worrying and Love Zite's Aggregator

waderoush writes "In March 2011, personalized-magazine startup Zite got a cease-and-desist letter from a group of 11 media giants outraged by the way Zite's popular iPad app 'misappropriated' their news articles. By August 2011, Zite had become part of CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, one of the organizations behind the C&D letter. Zite's brief clash with the media establishment, followed by its swift assimilation into the same establishment, is emblematic of a larger story unfolding in the media business: the grudging acknowledgement by publishers that readers want to access their content in new ways. In this article Zite CEO Mark Johnson explains how the startup mollified publishers (by presenting articles in 'Web view' mode rather than a stripped-down 'reader mode'), why CNN bought the company, and how it strives to make reading more enjoyable while still respecting publishers' business models."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Government Should Ban Skinny Models To Curb Anorexia, Say Researchers

smoothjazz writes "Governments are justified to prevent very skinny models from walking the catwalk and ban photographs and advertisements suggesting that extreme thinness is attractive, according to a group of researchers who found that that social and cultural environment influences on young women is largely responsible for the spread of chronic eating disorder."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[osnews.com] Trusting Your Hardware
When was the last time you reverse-engineered all the PCI devices on your motherboard?. . . Enters the game-changer: IOMMU (known as VT-d on Intel). With proper OS/VMM design, this technology can address the very problem of most of the hardware backdoors. A good example of a practical system that allows for that is Xen 3.3, which supports VT-d and allows you to move drivers into a separate, unprivileged driver domain(s). This way each PCI device can be limited to DMA only to the memory region occupied by its own driver.
[slashdot.org] Is It Time For Hacker Scouts?

ptorrone writes "MAKE Magazine asks: is it 'Time For Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts 2.0?' What might the future of education be like if it were based on online & earned skill badges, and what could the future of traditional organizations for kids, like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, be like in a very modern, tech-savvy world? Social networks and the maker movement are the perfect intersection of where the kids of today are, but we don't see 'leaderboards' for skills yet; we only see them for video games. Is it time for Hacker Scouts?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Leaked Assassin's Creed 3 Screenshots Show American Revolution

An anonymous reader writes "After three years, Ubisoft is finally finishing the newest installment of their Templars vs. Assassins series, set during the American Revolution. PC Magazine reports that 'If the cover art is any indicator, the new Assassin is pals with George Washington, Paul Revere, Ben Franklin, and the other leading American revolutionaries of the day.' A team of developers at Ubisoft reportedly dedicated a full three-year development cycle to re-examining every element in the franchise to improve the game — although it could've taken even longer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Car Hacking Concerns On the Rise

Pat Attack writes "I think most of the people who read Slashdot know that if it has circuitry, it can be hacked. Well, the good folks over at CNN have an article about the potential for your car to be hacked. This article lists the potential damage that could be done, proof of concept work, as well as a few scary scenarios. 'With vehicles taking up to three years to develop, [security strategist Brian Contos] says manufacturers will struggle to keep abreast of rapidly-evolving threats unless they organize regular software updates. Instead, he says, any installed technology should be given a so-called "white list" of permissible activities beyond which any procedures are blocked.' My mom reads CNN and is a Luddite. I expect to hear from her today. She'll probably tell me my new car with bluetooth is unsafe."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Ask Slashdot: What Is the Best Distro For Linux Lessons?

MBtronics writes "I work at an embedded hardware/software company and we are currently moving all our products for Windows CE to Linux. Our core development team already uses their favorite distro for development, but the rest of the developers are still working on Windows. We are going to give a series of Linux lessons (from 'what is Linux' to installing, using and developing) for everybody in the company who is interested (including non-developers). They will be allowed to choose their own distro, but we will certainly get requests for recommendations. My question to the Slashdot crowd: what distro (and window manager) do you think is the best to teach Linux to the generic public? We are currently thinking of Ubuntu, Fedora or Mint."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] LTO Tape Buying Guide
EnterpriseStorageForum: "Rather than trying to compare and contrast the vendors, the purpose of this Buying Guide is to educate users on the latest in LTO."
[slashdot.org] Sony To Delete Virtual Goods

New submitter dommer2029 writes "A few years back, Sony bought up a small company running an online collectible card game called Star Chamber: The Harbinger Saga. Two days ago, they announced that the servers will be shutting down on March 29, 2012. All of our virtual collectible cards? Poof. It's not surprising — the user base is small and dwindling — but it's proof that any server-based digital goods you 'own' can vanish on a corporation's whim."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] In Theory And Practice, Why Internet-Based Voting Is a Bad Idea

A few countries, like Estonia, have gone for internet-based voting in national elections in a big way, and many others (like Ireland and Canada) have experimented with it. For Americans, with a presidential election approaching later this year, it's a timely issue: already, some states have come to allow at least certain forms of voting by internet. Proponents say online elections have compelling upsides, chief among them ease of participation. People who might not otherwise vote — in particular military personnel stationed abroad, but many others besides — are more and more reached by internet access. Online voting offers a way to keep the electoral process open to them. With online voting, too, there's no worry about conventional absentee ballots being lost or delayed in the postal system, either before reaching the voter or on the way back to be counted. The downsides, though, are daunting. According to RSA panelists David Jefferson and J. Alex Halderman, in fact, they're overwhelming. Speaking Thursday afternoon, the two laid out their case against e-voting. (Read more for more, and look for a video interview with Halderman soon).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linux.com] Slideshow: Five Years of Linux Collaboration

{lfnews}One of our most special events of the year is just a month away, the Annual Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit. This Summit is unique because it's the first event we ever hosted (2007 on the Google campus) and aims to bring together Linux Foundation members with other distinguished community members to work on very specific opportunities for Linux. This year, the event will be at the Hotel Nikko from April 3-5.

As we prepare for the Collaboration Summit, we wanted to share with you a little trip down memory lane. This year is the sixth annual event, so this slideshow shares pictures from five years of Linux collaboration. From Google's campus to Austin, Texas to Hotel Kabuki, come with us as we remember why this event continues to be so amazing.

[lwn.net] Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Beta 1 Released.
The Ubuntu team has announced the first beta release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS(Long-Term Support) Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products. Betaversions of Kubuntu, Edubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Ubuntu Studio are alsoavailable, as well as new images for armhf.
[lwn.net] Friday's security update
openSUSE has updated libvorbis (codeexecution).
[slashdot.org] Startup Wants To Peek Through Your Home's Wired Cameras

alphadogg writes "The little cameras in your home are multiplying. There are the ones you bought, perhaps your SLR or digital camera, but also those that just kind of show up in your current phone, your old phone, your laptop, your game console, and soon your TV and set-top box. Varun Arora, founder of startup GotoCamera in Singapore, wants you to turn them all on and let his company's algorithms analyze what they show, then sell the results as marketing data, in a sort of visual version of what Google and other firms do with search results and free email services."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Oxygen Found Around Saturn's Moon Dione

New submitter S810 writes "According to an article in Discovery News, oxygen was found by the Cassini spacecraft around Dione, one of Saturn's large moons. 'It is thought the oxygen is being produced via interactions between Saturn's powerful radiation belts and Dione's water ice. The radiation breaks the water molecules down, liberating oxygen into the moon's exosphere.' Hopefully this will open the door for more funding of research int the moons of Saturn and Jupiter."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Is Poor Numeracy Ruining Lives?

Hugh Pickens writes "The BBC reports on how millions of people struggle to understand a payslip or a train timetable, or pay a household bill. Government figures show that almost half the working population of England have only primary school math skills, and research suggests that weak math skills are linked with an array of poor life outcomes such as prison, unemployment, exclusion from school, poverty and long-term illness. 'We are paying for this in our science, technology and engineering industries but also in people's own ability to earn funds and manage their lives,' says Chris Humphries. He is the chairman of National Numeracy, an organization seeking to emulate the success of the National Literacy Trust, which has helped improve reading and writing standards since it was set up nearly 20 years ago. The Department for Education wants the vast majority of young people to study math up to 18 within a decade to meet the growing demand for employees with high level and intermediate math skills. 'It is simply inexcusable for anyone to say "I can't do maths,"' adds Humphries. "

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] Strata, open source, and the invisible community
IT World: "There are beanbag chairs here at Strata (over in the MongoDB booth), but every time I walked by, no one was sitting in them."
[linuxtoday.com] cPanel: SSL on subdomain howto
LinuxOS Pro: "First, let's lay out the situation. You have a site named mystore.com. It has a cart so you've set it up with SSL..."
[slashdot.org] Warp Drives May Come With a Killer Downside

An anonymous reader writes "Alcubierre warp-drives (theoretically) allow rocket ships to travel faster than the speed of light, while staying within the rules of Einstein's general theory of relativity. New research (PDF) has shown that as such warp-drives zip through the universe, they gather up particles and radiation, releasing them in a burst as the warp-drive slows down. This is bad news for family and friends waiting for the ship to arrive, as this intense burst will fry them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Video Games: Goods Or Services?

silentbrad points out an article about the gradual shift of video games from being 'goods' to being 'services.' They spoke with games lawyer Jas Purewal, who says the legal interpretation is murky: "If we're talking about boxed-product games, there's a good argument the physical boxed product is a 'good,' but we don't know definitively if the software on it, or more generally software which is digitally distributed, is a good or a service. In the absence of a definitive legal answer, software and games companies have generally treated software itself as a service – which means treating games like World of Warcraft as well as platforms like Steam or Xbox LIVE as a service." The article continues, "The free-to-play business model is particularly interesting, because the providers of the game willingly relinquish direct profits in exchange for greater control over how players receive the game, play it, and eventually pay for it. This control isn't necessarily a bad thing either. It can help companies to better understand what gamers want from their games, and done properly such services can benefit both gamers and publishers. Of course, the emphasis here is on the phrase 'done properly.' Such control can easily be abused."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Computer Programmers Only the 5th Most Sleep Deprived Profession

garthsundem writes "As described in the NY Times Economix blog, the mattress chain Sleepy's analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey to find the ten most sleep deprived professions. In order, they are: Home Health Aides, Lawyer, Police Officers, Doctors/Paramedics, Tie: (Economists, Social Workers, Computer Programmers), Financial Analysts, Plant Operators (undefined, but we assume 'factory' and not 'Audrey II'), and Secretaries."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] Install Faenza Icons in KDE 4.8
The Power Base: "There is nothing difficult here that would prevent an average user from installing the Faenza icon set in KDE."
[slashdot.org] Science and Engineering Workforce Has Stalled In the US

dcblogs writes "The science and engineering workforce in the U.S. has flatlined, according to the Population Reference Bureau. As a percentage of the total labor force, S&E workers accounted for 4.9% of the workforce in 2010, a slight decline from the three previous years when these workers accounted for 5% of the workforce. That percentage has been essentially flat for the past decade. In 2000, it stood at 5.3%. The reasons for this trend aren't clear, but one factor may be retirements. S&E workers who are 55 and older accounted for 13% of this workforce in 2005; they accounted for 18% in 2010. 'This might imply that there aren't enough young people entering the S&E labor force,' said one research analyst."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Voting System Test Hack Elects Futurama's Bender To School Board

mr crypto writes with this quote from El Reg:"In 2010 the Washington DC election board announced it had set up an e-voting system for absentee ballots and was planning to use it in an election. However, to test the system, it invited the security community and members of the public to try and hack it three weeks before the election. 'It was too good an opportunity to pass up,' explained Professor Alex Halderman from the University of Michigan. 'How often do you get the chance to hack a government network without the possibility of going to jail?' With the help of two graduate students, Halderman started to examine the software. Despite it being a relatively clean Ruby on Rails build, they spotted a shell injection vulnerability within a few hours. They figured out a way of writing output to the images directory (PDF) on the compromised server, and of encrypting traffic so that the front-end intrusion detection system couldn't spot them. The team also managed to guess the login details for the terminal server used by the voting system. ... The team altered all the ballots on the system to vote for none of the nominated candidates. They then wrote in names of fictional IT systems as candidates, including Skynet and (Halderman's personal favorite) Bender for head of the DC school board."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] Tech Comics: "When Geeks Divorce"
Datamation: Oh goodness, how are we going to split the hardware?
[linuxtoday.com] Four Top Open Source Screencast Applications
Wazi: These four open source screencast recording applications cover a range of users' needs.
[osnews.com] *First impressions: Windows 8 consumer preview*
Wednesday was the big day for Microsoft - the largest overhaul of its operating system since Windows 95 (heck, I'd argue the overhaul is far larger than Windows 95) went into consumer preview. I've been running it on my Asus ZenBook since its release, and in all honesty, it's not as arduous as I expected. I'm not planning on doing a full review, but I do want to mention a number of things - both positive and negative - that stood out to me. Read more on this exclusive OSNews article...
[osnews.com] Microsoft up to its old tricks with Windows 8 versions
By all early reports, Windows 8 is going to be a good operating system. Microsoft's hegemony may be crumbling in a mobile computing onslaught, but its core empire remains undimmed. However, whereas Windows 7 had three versions, Windows 8 will apparently be ballooning to 9 versions.
[slashdot.org] One In Eight Chance of a Financially Catastrophic Solar Storm By 2020

An anonymous reader writes "A privately employed solar scientist named Pete Riley estimates there's a 12 percent chance of a massive solar storm comparable to the Carrington Event in 1859 which resulted in breathtaking aurorae across the United States and other temperate regions of the globe. The electromagnetic surge from the 1859 event caused failures of telegraph systems across Europe and North America. A similar storm today could knock out power grids, GPS and communication satellites, data centers, transportation systems, and building and plumbing infrastructures and wreak $1 trillion or more of economic damage in the first year alone, according a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] After Complaints, AT&T Solidifies, Increases Data Limit

New submitter rullywowr writes "After many users expressed anger, AT&T has moved the slowdown throttling bottleneck from 3GB of data to 5GB of data for users of 4G LTE smart phones. 'Previously, AT&T slowed speeds for subscribers who reached the top 5% of data users for that billing cycle and geographic location. Customers were outraged, arguing that the percentage method meant they had no way to know what the limit was — until AT&T informed them via text message that they were in danger of exceeding it.' AT&T still maintains the position that less than 5% of its users exceed the 3GB threshold each month."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linux.com] PHP 5.4 Release Brings Many Changes

PHP 5.4.0 was officially released today as a major advancement over the PHP 5.3 code-base...

[linux.com] Weekend Project: Take a Tour of Open Source Eye-Tracking Software

Right this very second, you are looking at a Web browser. At least, those are the odds. But while that's mildly interesting to me, detailed data on where users look (and for how long) is mission-critical. Web designers want to know if visitors are distracted from the contents of the page. Application developers want to know if users have trouble finding the important tools and functions on screen. Plus, for the accessibility community, being able to track eye motion lets you provide text input and cursor control to people who can't operate standard IO devices. Let's take a look at what open source software is out there to track eyes and turn it into useful data.

[linux.com] Development Release: TurnKey Linux 12.0 RC

Alon Swartz has announced the availability of the release candidate for TurnKey Linux 12.0. The project, which develops highly specialised virtual appliances for a variety of deployment scenarios, has turned to Debian GNU/Linux as the base for this major new release: "I'm pleased to announce a spanking brand-new....

[linux.com] Phishing via NFC

At the RSA conference, security experts have given live demonstrations of a whole range of new attacks on various mobile end user devices. Among them is a new form of phishing...

[linux.com] Spring Hadoop Makes Java/Hadoop Interaction Easier

Spring developers can now make use of the framework's technologies when working with Apache Hadoop clusters, from running Map/Reduce jobs to cleaning up distributed filesystems with scripts...

[linux.com] BackTrack 5 Update Expands Security Toolkit

The R2 release of BackTrack 5 upgrades its custom-built Linux kernel, and includes new and upgraded tools, such as version 4.2.0 of the Metasploit exploit framework and a special edition of the Maltego data mining tool...

[linux.com] Obliteration = Collaboration

A recent exhibition at the Children's Art Centre in Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art fuses two seemingly disparate concepts (destruction with creation) through a simple, kid-based approach with a design spin. Read more... read more...

[linux.com] Lumberjack Project Wants to Improve Logging

Within the Lumberjack project, the developers of various logging programs plan to improve the technologies that are involved in logging system events...

[linux.com] PHP 5.4.0 Brings New Features

The new version, its developers say, is "a major leap forward in the 5.x series", as it "significantly improves performance" and reduces memory consumption, while also adding a number of new features...

[linux.com] Distribution Release: Plop Linux 4.2.0

Elmar Hanlhofer has announced the release of Plop Linux 4.2.0, a utility live CD or DVD (with Fluxbox and GNOME 3) designed to rescue data from a damaged system, backup and restore operating systems, and automate common tasks: "Plop Linux 4.2.0 released. Changelog: a lot of software updates;....

[linux.com] Ubuntu 12.04 Hits Beta, Brings Smooth Unity for Marching Masses

The beta for Ubuntu 12.04, or Precise Pangolin as Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth would have it, is upon us.…...

[linux.com] Ubuntu Global Jam: Walnut Creek

Speaking of the Ubuntu Global Jam, if you are in Northern California, you should come and hangout with us fun Ubuntu folks in sunny, beautiful, Walnut Creek on Fri 2nd March 2012 at Caffe La Scala in Walnut Creek. What will we be doing? Hanging out, working on Ubuntu, sharing...

[linuxtoday.com] Top 10 enterprise-grade features to expect in Fedora 17
LinuxBSDos.com: "This article lists the top ten features that will appeal primarily to enterprise users. Keep in mind that most of them have not been fully implemented in Fedora 17 alpha, the first public release of what would become Fedora 17."
[slashdot.org] Google: Best Adaptation of a Novel To a Patent?

theodp writes "The USPTO's Thursday publication of Google's patent application for Inferring User Interests was nicely-timed, coinciding with what ZDNet called Google's privacy policy doomsday. The inventors include Google Sr. Staff Research Scientist Shumeet Baluja, the author of The Silicon Jungle, a cautionary tale of data mining's promise and peril, which Google's Vint Cerf found 'credible and scary.' No doubt some will feel the same about Beluja's patent filing, which lays out plans for mining 'user generated content, such as user interests, user blogs, postings by the user on her or other users' profiles (e.g., comments in a commentary section of a web page), a user's selection of hosted audio, images, and other files, and demographic information about the user, such as age, gender, address, etc.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] 'Twisted' Waves Could Boost Capacity of Wireless Spectrum

New submitter Ogi_UnixNut writes "In Venice, Italy, physicists have shown that it is possible to use two beams of incoherent radio waves, transmitted on the same frequency but encoded in two different orbital angular momentum states, to simultaneously transmit two independent radio channels. In principle this allows the implementation of an infinite number of channels in a given, fixed bandwidth, even without using polarization, multiport or dense coding techniques. It's potentially a boon for congested spectrum problems, although at the moment I suspect it would only work for directional links."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Why is the EFF at the RSA Security Conference? (Video)

Timothy asked Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) International Outreach Coordinator Maira Sutton that very question. Watch the video for her answer. It turns out that the EFF has lots of friends among RSA ("the most comprehensive forum in information security") attendees, and has some very good reasons to be there, in the midst of companies and government agencies that Timothy thinks might not only violate your privacy once in a while, but (gasp!) might even enjoy it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] Installing Cinnamon Desktop On Fedora 16 And OpenSuse 12.1
HowtoForge: "This tutorial will show you how to install the Cinnamon desktop, Mint's new desktop environment to be used in Linux Mint 13, on Fedora 16 as well as on OpenSUSE 12.1."
[linuxtoday.com] Foursquare now uses OpenStreetMap
Linux User & Developer: "Foursquare has decided to drop Google Maps from its web interface after three years in favour of the open source map project, OpenStreetMap."
[linuxtoday.com] Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin Beta1 has been released!
Unixmen: "It's time to take another look at what is happening with the development of Ubuntu 12.04."
[slashdot.org] World's First Biodegradable Joint Implant Grows New Joints

cylonlover writes "Joint implants should always be made of materials like titanium, so they can last the lifetime of the patient ... right? Well, not according to researchers at Finland's Tampere University of Technology. They've developed a product known as RegJoint, which is reportedly the world's first biodegradable joint implant. Unlike permanent implants, it allows the patient's bone ends to remain intact, and it creates a new joint out of their own tissue."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[slashdot.org] Open Ministry Crowdsources Laws In Finland

First time accepted submitter emakinen writes "The new Citizens' Initiative service started today in Finland. On the Open Ministry website, anyone can present an idea for a law or initiative. If the idea wins enough support, the ministry's volunteer workers will work on it and turn it into a presentable bill for the MPs to chew over. If 50,000 citizens of voting age agree on a bill Parliament has to take it up."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[linuxtoday.com] LocalWiki project spawns open source communities
opensource.com: "Who says open source is all about code and hackathons have to stick to computer hacking?"
[slashdot.org] Why Didn't the Internet Take Off In 1983?

jfruh writes "An amazing pair of videos from the AT&T archives tout a service called Viewtron that brought much of what we expect from the modern Internet to customers' homes in 1983. Online news, banking services, restaurant reviews, shopping, e-mail — all were available on your TV set, controlled by a wireless infrared keyboard. The system had 15,000 customers in cities on the U.S. east coast, but was shut down after $50 million was spent on it. But why did it flop? Was the world just not ready for it?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.