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[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 03:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: TomTom Can License FAT Without Violating the GPL

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dp619 writes "Capped per-unit royalties make FAT licensing agreements permissible under the GPL, and SD Times has found that Microsoft's public license policy caps royalties at $250k. If the royalties are capped — as they seem to be — TomTom should be able to license FAT without violating the GPL. And if that is the case ... TomTom needs some serious explaining to do as to why they aren't licensing FAT. That said, Microsoft still needs to explain why it just cannot say that folks won't violate the GPL if they license FAT under its terms."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/JmZtDozZB6s/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 07:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Romanians Find Cure For Conficker

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mask.of.sanity writes "BitDefender has released what it claims is the first vaccination tool to remove the notorious Conficker virus that infected some 9 million Windows machines in about three months. The worm, also known as Downadup, exploits a bug in the Windows Server service used by Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003 and Server 2008. It spreads primarily through a buffer overflow vulnerability in Windows Server Service where it disables the operating system update service, security center, including Windows Defender, and error reporting. The Romanian security vendor said its removal tool will delete all versions of Downadup and will not be detected by the virus."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/5oLyNDZz7qs/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 10:20:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Chinese Subvert Censorship With a Popular Pun

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Anonymusing writes "In spoken Chinese, 'grass-mud horse' sounds virtually identical to an obscenity (hint: it begins with "mother-") — and as a cartoon character, it has become an amazing phenomenon. Meant as a subversive attack on censors, the alpaca-like mythical creature has led to a cuddly stuffed animal — selling over 180,000 in a few weeks — and a wildly popular YouTube video with children's voices singing words that are either completely benign or incredibly offensive, depending on how you listen." Update: 03/13 09:29 GMT by T : Since this story was set up, the originally linked video seems to have been pulled. Searching YouTube reveals that there are some alternatives available, at least for now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/dbp5xSnDlLY/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 13:32:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Beyond Firewalls --- Internet Militarization

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angry tapir writes "One of the discussions at the Source Boston Security Showcase has been the militarization of the Internet. Governments looking to silence critics and stymie opposition have added DDOS attacks to their censoring methods, according to Jose Nazario, senior security researcher at Arbor Networks, with international political situations spawning DDOS attacks."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Bfet1mB-IRE/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 14:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: MacBook Modded With Second Monitor Inside Logo

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An anonymous reader from the Macmod forum wrote in with this appealing hack: "This is one of the coolest mods I've seen all year. Mac Moder EdsJunk submitted this mod to our forums late Thursday night. By cracking open a MacBook he was able to put a second monitor inside of the screen. The end result is sweet. The second monitor can make the Apple logo have any kind of background, like the clown fish, or the flurry screen saver."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/8_ZyqF5MHcE/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 14:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: FBI Is the Worst FOIA Performer

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krou writes "The National Security Archive at George Washington University has awarded its 2009 Rosemary Award to the FBI for worst freedom of information performance (PDF of the award). Previous winners have been the CIA and the Treasury. The NSA notes that 'The FBI's reports to Congress show that the Bureau is unable to find any records in response to two-thirds of its incoming FOIA requests on average over the past four years, when the other major government agencies averaged only a 13% "no records" response to public requests.' The FBI's explanation, according to the NSA, is that 'files are indexed only by reference terms that have to be manually applied by individual agents,' and even then, 'agents don't always index all relevant terms.' Furthermore, 'unless a requester specifically asks for a broader search, the FBI will only look in a central database of electronic file names at FBI headquarters in Washington.' Any search will therefore 'miss any internal or cross-references to people who are not the subject of an investigation, any records stored at other FBI offices around the country, and any records created before 1970.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/dK8ujj7Hp_g/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 15:35:00 EDT from rss

Subject: US Adults Fail Basic Science Literacy

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TaeKwonDood writes "Do you want the bad news first or the good news? The good news is that about 80% of Americans think science knowledge is 'very important' to our future. The bad news is most of those people think it's up to someone else to get knowledgeable. Only 15% actually know how much of the planet is covered in water (47% if you accept a rough approximation of the exact number) and over 40% think dinosaurs and humans cavorted together like in some sort of 'Land Of The Lost' episode. What to do? Pres. Obama thinks merit pay for teachers makes sense. Yes, it will enrage the teachers' union, but it might inspire better people to go into science teaching. It's either that or accept that almost 50% of Americans won't know how long it takes the earth to go around the sun."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Hd-p01V8gT4/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 16:16:00 EDT from rss

Subject: "Spin Battery" Effect Discovered

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An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Miami and at the Universities of Tokyo and Tohoku, in Japan, have discovered a spin battery effect: the ability to store energy into the magnetic spin of a material and to later extract that energy as electricity, without a chemical reaction. The researchers have built an actual device to demonstrate the effect that has a diameter about that of a human hair. This is a potentially game-changing discovery that could affect battery and other technologies. Quoting: Although the actual device... cannot even light up an LED..., the energy that might be stored in this way could potentially run a car for miles. The possibilities are endless, Barnes said.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/SaKW1Cojwn0/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 16:56:00 EDT from rss

Subject: How Do Militaries Treat Their Nerds?

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An anonymous reader writes "Cyber Warfare is a hot topic these days. A major reorganization may be looming, but a critical component is a culture where technologists can thrive. Two recent articles address this subject. Lieutenant Colonel Greg Conti and Colonel Buck Surdu recently published an article in the latest DoD IA Newsletter stating that 'The Army, Navy, and Air Force all maintain cyberwarfare components, but these organizations exist as ill-fitting appendages (PDF, pg. 14) that attempt to operate in inhospitable cultures where technical expertise is not recognized, cultivated, or completely understood.' In his TaoSecurity Blog Richard Bejtlich added 'When I left the Air Force in early 2001, I was the 31st of the last 32 eligible company grade officers in the Air Force Information Warfare Center to separate from the Air Force rather than take a new nontechnical assignment.' So, Slashdot, how has the military treated you and your technical friends? What changes are needed?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/WEpS3ioI14A/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 17:36:00 EDT from rss

Subject: An Interview With the Developers of FFmpeg

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An anonymous reader writes "Following the long-awaited release of FFmpeg 0.5, Phoronix has conducted an interview with three FFmpeg developers (Diego Biurrun, Baptiste Coudurier, and Robert Swain) about this project's recent release. In this interview they talk about moving to a 3/6-month release cycle, the criteria for version 1.0, Blu-Ray support on Linux, OpenCL and GPGPU acceleration, multi-threading FFmpeg, video APIs, their own video codecs, and legal challenges they have run into."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oL0VN9le0vI/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 18:18:00 EDT from rss

Subject: FOIA Request For Pending Copyright Treaty Denied

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Penguinisto writes "According to CNET, Knowledge Ecology International's FOIA request for information about ACTA was denied. ACTA is the pending copyright treaty believed to have been authored by lobbyists for the content cartels. Even stranger, the denial cited 'national security reasons (PDF). While it is not unusual for the White House of any administration to block FOIA requests for national security reasons, one would think that a treaty affecting civil interests alone wouldn't qualify for such secrecy. Not exactly sure what involvement the former RIAA mouthpiece Donald Verelli (a recent Obama pick for the DOJ) may have in this." KEI is not alone; the European Parliament wants to see the ACTA documents too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/siZz_YnZmDM/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 19:02:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Traveling With Tom Bihn's Checkpoint Flyer

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Some people care about bags; obsession is a better word. (See the Bags subforum of the Every Day Carry Forums for evidence.) How are the straps attached? Is that 1050 denier, or 1600? Makers like Crumpler, Ortlieb and Maxpedition inspire impressive brand-loyalty, but probably no bag maker has customers more enthusiastic than Tom Bihn's. (There really is a Tom Bihn, too -- he's been designing travel bags since he was a kid; now he has a factory with "all the cool toys" to experiment with designs and materials.) When I started looking for a protective case for my MacBook Pro, I discovered that a few of my coworkers were part of the Bihn Army, and after some Tupperware-style evangelism I was convinced to buy a few items from the Bihn line-up: a backpack (used); then a messenger bag (new); then a mid-sized briefcase, used, which is now my portable filing cabinet. (Take this bias for what you will; I stuck with my previous messenger bag for more than a decade.) For a just-completed trip to Israel, which I couldn't quite make in true one-bag travel fashion, I brought along one of the newest Bihn Bags — the Checkpoint Flyer — and found it to be worth its (considerable) price. Read on for my review.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oiqMGK68hRE/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 19:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Libel Suits OK Even If Libel Is Truthful

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Defeat Globalism writes to tell us that many journalists, bloggers, and media law specialists are concerned about a new ruling by a US Court of Appeals in Boston. The new ruling is allowing a former Staples employee to sue the company for libel after an email was sent out informing other employees that he had been fired for violations of company procedures regarding expenses reimbursements. "Staples has asked the full appeals court to reconsider the ruling, and 51 news organizations have filed a friend-of-the-court brief saying that the decision, if allowed to stand, 'will create a precedent that hinders the media's ability to rely on truthful publication to avoid defamation liability.' But Wendy Sibbison, the Greenfield appellate lawyer for the fired Staples employee, Alan S. Noonan, said the ruling applies only to lawsuits by private figures against private defendants, that is, defendants not involved in the news business, over purely private matters."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TQNThbRjdWY/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 20:30:00 EDT from rss

Subject: New Take on Self-Healing Polymer Could Mean Scratch-Free Screens

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techprophet writes to mention that a new take on self-healing plastic could provide a long-term solution to scratched screens. The new polymer, developed by scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi, uses UV light to reform bonds between molecules rather than embedded healing agents of similar systems. "At the core of their design is polyurethane, which is an elastic polymer that already has decent scratch resistance. To enhance its ability to withstand mechanical damage, Ghosh and Urban added two more components, OXE and CHI. OXE has an unstable chemical structure (a four-membered ring containing three carbons and one oxygen) that makes it prone to being split open. CHI is UV sensitive. The idea is that, if the polyurethane gets damaged by a scratch, the unstable ring structure of OXE will open to create two reactive ends. Then, UV light can trigger CHI to form new links with the reactive ends of OXE and thereby fix the break in the polymer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9pFMPHZ-9rQ/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 21:12:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Collaborative Academic Writing Software?

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Thomas M Hughes writes "Despite its learning curve, LaTeX is pretty much the standard in academic writing. By abstracting out the substance from the content, it becomes possible to focus heavily on the writing, and then deal with formatting later. However, LaTeX is starting to show its age, specifically when it comes to collaborative work. One solution to this is to simply pair up LaTeX with version control software (such as Subversion) to allow multiple collaborators to work on the same document at one time. But adding subversion to the mix only seems to increase the learning curve. Is there a way to combine the power of LaTeX with the power of Subversion without scaring off a non-technical writer? The closest I can approximate would be to have something like Lyx (to hide the learning curve of LaTeX) with integrated svn (to hide the learning curve of svn). However, this doesn't seem available. Google Docs is popular right now, but Docs has no support for LaTeX, citation management, or anything remotely resembling decent formatting options. Are there other choices out there?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EWtyxSPzDrc/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 21:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Clear Public Satellite Imagery Tantamount to Yelling Fire

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TechDirt pointed out a recent bit of foolishness as a followup to California Assemblyman Joel Anderson's push to force Google and other online mapping/satellite companies to blur out schools, churches, and government buildings. When pushed, apparently his justification was that leaving these buildings un-obscured is the same as shouting fire. "News.com ran an interview with Anderson, where he attempts to defend his proposed legislation as a matter of public safety. He claims that there is no good reason why anyone would need to clearly see these buildings online, and that it can only be used for bad purposes. [...] Apparently, Anderson is the final determiner of what good people do and what bad people do with online maps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EZDQC9wnLdI/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 21:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Clear Public Satellite Imagery Tantamount to Yelling Fire

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

TechDirt pointed out a recent bit of foolishness as a followup to California Assemblyman Joel Anderson's push to force Google and other online mapping/satellite companies to blur out schools, churches, and government buildings. When pushed, apparently his justification was that leaving these buildings un-obscured is the same as shouting fire. "News.com ran an interview with Anderson, where he attempts to defend his proposed legislation as a matter of public safety. He claims that there is no good reason why anyone would need to clearly see these buildings online, and that it can only be used for bad purposes. [...] Apparently, Anderson is the final determiner of what good people do and what bad people do with online maps."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EZDQC9wnLdI/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 21:12:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Collaborative Academic Writing Software?

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

Thomas M Hughes writes "Despite its learning curve, LaTeX is pretty much the standard in academic writing. By abstracting out the substance from the content, it becomes possible to focus heavily on the writing, and then deal with formatting later. However, LaTeX is starting to show its age, specifically when it comes to collaborative work. One solution to this is to simply pair up LaTeX with version control software (such as Subversion) to allow multiple collaborators to work on the same document at one time. But adding subversion to the mix only seems to increase the learning curve. Is there a way to combine the power of LaTeX with the power of Subversion without scaring off a non-technical writer? The closest I can approximate would be to have something like Lyx (to hide the learning curve of LaTeX) with integrated svn (to hide the learning curve of svn). However, this doesn't seem available. Google Docs is popular right now, but Docs has no support for LaTeX, citation management, or anything remotely resembling decent formatting options. Are there other choices out there?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EWtyxSPzDrc/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 20:30:00 EDT from rss

Subject: New Take on Self-Healing Polymer Could Mean Scratch-Free Screens

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

techprophet writes to mention that a new take on self-healing plastic could provide a long-term solution to scratched screens. The new polymer, developed by scientists at the University of Southern Mississippi, uses UV light to reform bonds between molecules rather than embedded healing agents of similar systems. "At the core of their design is polyurethane, which is an elastic polymer that already has decent scratch resistance. To enhance its ability to withstand mechanical damage, Ghosh and Urban added two more components, OXE and CHI. OXE has an unstable chemical structure (a four-membered ring containing three carbons and one oxygen) that makes it prone to being split open. CHI is UV sensitive. The idea is that, if the polyurethane gets damaged by a scratch, the unstable ring structure of OXE will open to create two reactive ends. Then, UV light can trigger CHI to form new links with the reactive ends of OXE and thereby fix the break in the polymer."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9pFMPHZ-9rQ/article.pl

[#] Fri Mar 13 2009 19:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Libel Suits OK Even If Libel Is Truthful

[Reply] [ReplyQuoted] [Headers] [Print]

Defeat Globalism writes to tell us that many journalists, bloggers, and media law specialists are concerned about a new ruling by a US Court of Appeals in Boston. The new ruling is allowing a former Staples employee to sue the company for libel after an email was sent out informing other employees that he had been fired for violations of company procedures regarding expenses reimbursements. "Staples has asked the full appeals court to reconsider the ruling, and 51 news organizations have filed a friend-of-the-court brief saying that the decision, if allowed to stand, 'will create a precedent that hinders the media's ability to rely on truthful publication to avoid defamation liability.' But Wendy Sibbison, the Greenfield appellate lawyer for the fired Staples employee, Alan S. Noonan, said the ruling applies only to lawsuits by private figures against private defendants, that is, defendants not involved in the news business, over purely private matters."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TQNThbRjdWY/article.pl

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