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[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 23:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: The Pirate Bay Comes To Facebook

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NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report I just read in Mashable, Pirate Bay is coming to Facebook. Writer Ben Parr says that The Pirate Bay site now includes links under torrents to 'Share on Facebook.' Once posted to a profile, the Facebook member's friends can click the link on Facebook to begin the download right away, provided he or she already has a torrenting client installed. I just hope people do not use this feature to download copyrighted materials which are not authorized to be downloaded, or at least not materials copyrighted to litigation-happy RIAA Big 4 record labels. No doubt, if their song files were downloaded through this method, the record companies would sit back for awhile, derive profit from the promotional excitement generated for their dying industry, and then — armed with Facebook's data — sue the pants off all the hapless Facebook users who fell for it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/DX4dqoYck3U/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 23:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: The Pirate Bay Comes To Facebook

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

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "According to a report I just read in Mashable, Pirate Bay is coming to Facebook. Writer Ben Parr says that The Pirate Bay site now includes links under torrents to 'Share on Facebook.' Once posted to a profile, the Facebook member's friends can click the link on Facebook to begin the download right away, provided he or she already has a torrenting client installed. I just hope people do not use this feature to download copyrighted materials which are not authorized to be downloaded, or at least not materials copyrighted to litigation-happy RIAA Big 4 record labels. No doubt, if their song files were downloaded through this method, the record companies would sit back for awhile, derive profit from the promotional excitement generated for their dying industry, and then — armed with Facebook's data — sue the pants off all the hapless Facebook users who fell for it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/DX4dqoYck3U/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 22:06:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Experimental MacRuby Branch Is 3x Faster

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An anonymous reader writes "Zen and the Art of Programming published an article about MacRuby's new experimental 0.5 branch (project blog entry here). According to the included benchmarks, Apple's version of Ruby could already, at this early stage of its development, be about three times as fast as the fastest Ruby implementation available elsewhere."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ycOGWreG-zI/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 20:50:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Simonyi Arrives At the ISS After Shuttle Lands

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RobGoldsmith writes in with news of the further adventures of Charles Simonyi, whose first trip to the ISS we discussed a couple of years ago. The Russian Soyuz vehicle carrying Simonyi and two others docked a day after the US space shuttle Discovery landed in Florida. "Space Adventures, Ltd. ... announced today that its orbital client Charles Simonyi and his crew successfully arrived at the International Space Station after launching on-board the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 26. The spacecraft docked to the ISS at 9:05 am (EDT) with Dr. Simonyi and Expedition 19 crew members Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut Michael Barratt. They were greeted at approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT) by the Expedition 18 crew..."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 19:38:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Researchers Identify Phantom Limb Brain Activity

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mmmscience writes "Researchers in Switzerland think they had identified the regions of the brain responsible for creating phantom limbs and the senses that go along with them. Scientists studied a stroke victim who claimed that the phantom limb of her now-paralyzed left arm could do a number of things a normal limb could do, including 'scratch an itch on her head, with an actual sense of relief.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/yCOAlf--zDU/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 18:24:00 EDT from rss

Subject: New Security Concerns Raised For Google Docs

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TechCrunch is running a story about three possible security issues with Google Docs recently uncovered by researcher Ade Barkah. It turns out that an image embedded into a protected document is given a URL which is not protected, allowing anyone who knows or guesses it to see the image regardless of permissions or even the existence of the document. Barkah also pointed out that once you've shared a document with another person, that person can see diagram revisions from any point before they gained access, forcing you to create a new document if you need to redact something. The last issue, the mechanics of which he disclosed only to Google, affects the document-sharing invitation forwarding system, which can allow somebody access to your documents after you've removed their permissions. Google made a blog post to respond to these concerns, saying that they "do not pose a significant security risk," but are being investigated. We previously discussed a sharing bug in Google Docs that was fixed earlier this month.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 17:05:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Best Grad Program For a Computer Science Major?

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ryanleary writes "I am currently a junior computer science major at a relatively competitive university. I intend to remain here for some graduate work, and I would like to get a master's degree. What would be a good field to study? An MS in computer science appears to be highly theoretical, while an MS in IT seems more practical due to its breadth (covering some management, HCI, and design). What looks best on a resume, and where might I expect to make more money in the not-too-distant future? Computer Science, Information Technology, or something different altogether — perhaps an MBA?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 15:47:00 EDT from rss

Subject: UK Libel Law Is a Global Threat To Web Free Speech

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uctpjac writes "London media lawyer Emily MacManus argues that UK libel law has three features which make it the 'defamation tourism' capital of the world and a serious threat to Web free speech. First, there is no free speech presumption in the UK as there is, for example, in the US. Second, every access of a Web page is considered to be a separate act of publication in the UK (unlike the US, where 'original publication' holds). Third, 'no-win-no-fee' libel litigation is now allowed in the UK. If any blog, anywhere, publishes something you'd like taken down, threaten libel action in the UK: no one except the super-rich can afford to even take these cases to court, so media lawyers advise publishers to 'take it down, take it down quickly, take it down again.' There's not much chance that the judges will move the law any time soon because they just aren't seeing the cases that could cause them to set new precedent."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/7BezcevYVAI/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 14:26:00 EDT from rss

Subject: AT&T Won't Terminate User Service For RIAA Without a Court Order

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On Wednesday, we discussed news that AT&T had begun sending takedown notices to users whom the RIAA has accused of illegally downloading copyrighted works. Cox and Comcast are both cooperating with the RIAA in that regard as well. However, while Cox seems willing to shut off service in the case of repeat offenders, Comcast denied that it was considering a similar penalty, and AT&T said they'll flat out refuse to terminate service on the RIAA's word alone; it will take a court order. They seem satisfied with the effect letters have had on inhibiting such downloads: "'It's a standard part of everybody's terms of service,' [AT&T senior executive vice president Jim Cicconi] said. 'If somebody is engaging in illegal activity, it basically gives us the right to do it...We're not a finder of fact and under no circumstances would we ever suspend or terminate service based on an allegation from a third party. We're just simply reminding people that they can't engage in illegal activity.' Cicconi said the company began testing this kind of 'forward noticing' late last year and even experimented with sending certified letters. Cicconi said the notices worked. The company saw very few repeat offenders."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Xy--r-7mXHs/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 13:08:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Games As Transformative Works

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Deepa Sivarajan sends word that the journal Transformative Works and Culture has published an issue that focuses on games, containing a variety of articles which examine how games interact with modern culture. One essay takes a look at how developers gain an understanding of the systems and structures that drive gameplay, and another discusses motivation and "participatory culture" in games that have a substantial degree of user design involvement, such as mods and addons. There's also an evaluation of how the enthusiast press affects the perceived value of games. The issue includes game-related book reviews and interviews, which can be found at the bottom of the full list of articles.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/f2nz8nIVQqE/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 10:23:00 EDT from rss

Subject: HIV Transmission Captured On Video

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Technology Review has promising news on the AIDS front: researchers have captured HIV T cell transmission on video. The upshot could be new avenues of treatment. "The resulting images and videos show that, once an infected cell adheres to a healthy cell, the HIV proteins... migrate within minutes to the contact site. At that point, large packets of virus are simultaneously released by the infected cell and internalized by the recipient cell. This efficient mode of transfer is a distinct pathway from the cell-free infection that has been the focus of most prior HIV studies, and reveals another mechanism by which the virus evades immune responses that can neutralize free virus particles within the body."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Vobc-aXCF-c/article.pl

[#] Sun Mar 29 2009 07:38:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Why Toddlers Don't Do What They're Told

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Hugh Pickens writes "New cognitive research shows that 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present, but instead call up the past as they need it. 'There is a lot of work in the field of cognitive development that focuses on how kids are basically little versions of adults trying to do the same things adults do, but they're just not as good at it yet. What we show here is they are doing something completely different,' says professor Yuko Munakata at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Munakata's team used a computer game and a setup that measures the diameter of the pupil of the eye to determine mental effort to study the cognitive abilities of 3-and-a-half-year-olds and 8-year-olds. The research concluded that while everything you tell toddlers seems to go in one ear and out the other, the study found that toddlers listen, but then store the information for later use. 'For example, let's say it's cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket out of his bedroom and get ready to go outside,' says doctoral student Christopher Chatham. 'You might expect the child to plan for the future, think "OK it's cold outside so the jacket will keep me warm." But what we suggest is that this isn't what goes on in a 3-year-old's brain. Rather, they run outside, discover that it is cold, and then retrieve the memory of where their jacket is, and then they go get it.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/bMV6_N7CVJ4/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 01:35:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Violent Video Games Can Improve Vision

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Ponca City, We love you writes "According to a new study, people who played fighting games on their PCs became up to a 58 percent better at perceiving fine contrast differences, an important aspect of eyesight. The breakthrough is significant because it was previously thought that the ability to notice even very small changes in shades of grey against a uniform background could not be improved. Contrast sensitivity is the primary limiting factor in how well one sees. Volunteers in the study played intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks with either Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the results were compared with another group who played The Sims 2, which is richly visual but does not require as much hand-eye coordination. The improvements lasted for months after game play stopped. The new finding suggests action video games could be used as training devices as a useful complement to eye-correction techniques, since gaming may teach the brain's visual cortex to make better use of the information it receives."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/hetfa2X0s5A/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 03:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mixed Outcome of Texas Textbook Vote

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The Texas Board of Education — as discussed here last week — has voted on the guidelines for textbooks in that state, which represents a large enough market to have influence nationwide. The good news is that the board dropped a 20-year-old requirement that both "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories be taught; score one for the teaching of evolution. The not-so-good news is that in a "compromise," the board also voted to require that students "in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations... including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student." Score one for the Discovery Institute. A Republican board member explained that the words "strengths and weaknesses" have become "code for creationism and [the similar theory of] intelligent design. So by being more clear in the language and using words that aren't seen as code words, we were able to get all of the 15 board members to agree that this is how we'll teach all sides of scientific explanation, using scientific evidence." Reporting on the Texas vote is all over the map, as a US Today blog summarizes. Some reports claim that an amendment was passed that preserves a requirement that students study the "sufficiency or insufficiency" of common ancestry and natural selection. Other reports claim that the board also adopted language that would have students study the "different views on the existence of global warming."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/HHazB1elVtU/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 06:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Reliability of Computer Memory?

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olddoc writes "In the days of 512-MB systems, I remember reading about cosmic rays causing memory errors and how errors become more frequent with more RAM. Now, home PCs are stuffed with 6GB or 8GB and no one uses ECC memory in them. Recently I had consistent BSODs with Vista64 on a PC with 4GB; I tried memtest86 and it always failed within hours. Yet when I ran 64bit Ubuntu at 100% load and using all memory, it ran fine for days. I have two questions: 1) Do people trust a memtest86 error to mean a bad memory module or motherboard or CPU? 2) When I check my email on my desktop 16-GB PC next year, should I be running ECC memory?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/rrD-0nYIaeE/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 10:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Attempting To Reframe "KDE Vs. GNOME"

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jammag writes "Setting aside the now tired debate about whether KDE or GNOME is the 'better' Linux desktop, Bruce Byfield compares their disparate development approaches and asks, not which desktop is subjectively better, but which developmental approach is likely to be most successful in the next few years. 'In the short term, GNOME's gradualism seems sensible. But, in the long-term, it could very well mean continuing to be dragged down by support for legacy sub-systems. It means being reduced to an imitator rather than innovator.' In contrast, 'you could say that KDE has done what's necessary and ripped the bandage off the scab. In the short term, the result has been a lot of screaming, but, in the long term, it has done what was necessary to thrive.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/rf-zBAjWPBA/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 10:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Attempting To Reframe "KDE Vs. GNOME"

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

jammag writes "Setting aside the now tired debate about whether KDE or GNOME is the 'better' Linux desktop, Bruce Byfield compares their disparate development approaches and asks, not which desktop is subjectively better, but which developmental approach is likely to be most successful in the next few years. 'In the short term, GNOME's gradualism seems sensible. But, in the long-term, it could very well mean continuing to be dragged down by support for legacy sub-systems. It means being reduced to an imitator rather than innovator.' In contrast, 'you could say that KDE has done what's necessary and ripped the bandage off the scab. In the short term, the result has been a lot of screaming, but, in the long term, it has done what was necessary to thrive.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/rf-zBAjWPBA/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 06:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Reliability of Computer Memory?

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

olddoc writes "In the days of 512MB systems, I remember reading about cosmic rays causing memory errors and how errors become more frequent with more RAM. Now, home PCs are stuffed with 6GB or 8GB and no one uses ECC memory in them. Recently I had consistent BSODs with Vista64 on a PC with 4GB; I tried memtest86 and it always failed within hours. Yet when I ran 64-bit Ubuntu at 100% load and using all memory, it ran fine for days. I have two questions: 1) Do people trust a memtest86 error to mean a bad memory module or motherboard or CPU? 2) When I check my email on my desktop 16GB PC next year, should I be running ECC memory?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/rrD-0nYIaeE/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 03:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mixed Outcome of Texas Textbook Vote

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

The Texas Board of Education — as discussed here last week — has voted on the guidelines for textbooks in that state, which represents a large enough market to have influence nationwide. The good news is that the board dropped a 20-year-old requirement that both "strengths and weaknesses" of all scientific theories be taught; score one for the teaching of evolution. The not-so-good news is that in a "compromise," the board also voted to require that students "in all fields of science, analyze, evaluate and critique scientific explanations ... including examining all sides of scientific evidence of those scientific explanations, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student." Score one for the Discovery Institute. A Republican board member explained that the words "strengths and weaknesses" have become "code for creationism and [the similar theory of] intelligent design. So by being more clear in the language and using words that aren't seen as code words, we were able to get all of the 15 board members to agree that this is how we'll teach all sides of scientific explanation, using scientific evidence." Reporting on the Texas vote is all over the map, as a US Today blog summarizes. Some reports claim that an amendment was passed that preserves a requirement that students study the "sufficiency or insufficiency" of common ancestry and natural selection. Other reports claim that the board also adopted language that would have students study the "different views on the existence of global warming."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/HHazB1elVtU/article.pl

[#] Mon Mar 30 2009 01:35:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Violent Video Games Can Improve Vision

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

Ponca City, We love you writes "According to a new study, people who played fighting games on their PCs became up to a 58 percent better at perceiving fine contrast differences, an important aspect of eyesight. The breakthrough is significant because it was previously thought that the ability to notice even very small changes in shades of grey against a uniform background could not be improved. Contrast sensitivity is the primary limiting factor in how well one sees. Volunteers in the study played intensively for 50 hours over nine weeks with either Unreal Tournament 2004 and Call of Duty 2, and the results were compared with another group who played The Sims 2, which is richly visual but does not require as much hand-eye coordination. The improvements lasted for months after game play stopped. The new finding suggests action video games could be used as training devices as a useful complement to eye-correction techniques, since gaming may teach the brain's visual cortex to make better use of the information it receives."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/hetfa2X0s5A/article.pl

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