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[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 12:54:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NASA In Colbert Conundrum Over Space Station

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After Stephen Colbert won the vote in NASA's contest to name a new module on the International Space Station, NASA found itself in a tough spot. According to Reuters, "Contest rules stipulate that the agency retains the right to basically do whatever it wants," but it may not be all that easy. At first NASA floated the idea of naming the new module's toilet "Colbert." But Last Thursday Congressman Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., urged the agency to respect the people's wishes. And Colbert turned up the heat on yesterday's weekly show: "So NASA, I urge you to heed Congressman Fattah's call for democracy in orbit. Either name that node after me, or I too will reject democracy and seize power as space's evil tyrant overlord. Ball's in your court."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zQAQo6YVwDU/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 09:55:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Hints of a Link Between Autism and Vinyl Flooring

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SpuriousLogic sends in a link from Scientific American to a study by Swedish and US researchers that reaches the surprising conclusion that there may be a link between autism and vinyl floors. "Children who live in homes with vinyl floors, which can emit chemicals called phthalates, are more likely to have autism, according to research by Swedish and US scientists published Monday. ... The scientists were surprised by their finding, calling it 'far from conclusive.' ... The researchers found four environmental factors associated with autism: vinyl flooring, the mother's smoking, family economic problems, and condensation on windows, which indicates poor ventilation. Infants or toddlers who lived in bedrooms with vinyl, or PVC, floors were twice as likely to have autism five years later... than those with wood or linoleum flooring. ... Several scientists who did not participate in the study cautioned that it has too many limitations to draw conclusions, but they suggested that new studies be designed to look for a connection between autism and indoor air pollutants."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/w2eYLSNsCBI/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 06:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Star Trek Sequel Already Planned

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bowman9991 writes "Paramount Pictures are so confident about the box office potential of the upcoming Star Trek reboot directed by J. J. Abrams that they're already working on a sequel. They've hired Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Damon Lindelof to write the screenplay. We're looking at a possible 2011 release for the next Star Trek movie with the same cast. Now that they've committed themselves, let's hope it lives up to expectations."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/aUjhd6Hnecc/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 04:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Volunteers Simulate Mission To Mars

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Hugh Pickens writes "Six volunteers have climbed into a small metal capsule in Moscow as part of a three-month experiment meant to simulate a voyage to Mars. The crew — a German engineer, a French airline pilot, and four Russians — will spend the next 105 days living in a minimally furnished facility erected in a hangar on the outskirts of the Russian capital. The German said, 'I think we are going to learn a lot about each other.' A cosmonaut-in-training who will lead the mission was quoted: 'On the inside, we will have a lack of incoming information, so it's the science of sensory deprivation.' A similar experiment in Moscow virtually collapsed when a multinational team of men and women were allowed to drink alcohol on the eve of the millennium, and simmering tensions between Russian and non-Russian volunteers exploded in a fight for the affections of a female Canadian scientist. Only men are involved this time, and no alcohol. Scientists will keep a constant vigil on the team via cameras erected in each of the facility's three modules. Those who survive more than 100 days will earn a $20,000 reward. The current project is a warm-up for a much more ambitious experiment, scheduled for December, which will see another group of volunteers spending over 500 days in the same conditions. With current technology it is estimated that a return trip to Mars will take at least 18 months." The amazing thing is that 5,600 people applied to be part of the experiment.

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

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 14:28:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Slashdot Launches User Achievements

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In a concerted effort to compete with more popular MMOs like World of Warcraft, we've decided to add an Achievement system to Slashdot. We've retroactively granted around 900,000 achievements to our logged in users. You can view them from your user page, or you can see my list if you're curious what a REAL achiever looks like. Many achievements have been sprinkled throughout the system and are awaiting discovery by dedicated Slashdot users, but a starter list of achievements is in the FAQ. I'll toss you one freebie: you can register your wow main for points if you're that kind of person. Now go forth and achieve!

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

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 15:10:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Conficker Worm Strike Reports Start Rolling In

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Nieriko writes "Reports are trickling in about the impact from the Conficker worm, as infected systems passed zero hour at midnight and began downloading additional malicious components. Here are a couple of the more notable incidents caused by Conficker so far, according to published reports: — '... shortly after midnight local time, an ATM in the capital city of Reykjavik began spewing 100-Krona notes. ... A nuclear missile installation near Elmendorf Air force Base outside of Anchorage, Alaska briefly went on a full-scale military alert after technicians manning the bunker suspected that several of their control systems were infected with Conficker.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/zebv4Uzox48/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 15:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: The Guardian Shifts To Twitter After 188 Years of Ink

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teflon_king writes with news that renowned British newspaper The Guardian will be abandoning its paper-and-ink distribution scheme and publishing all articles and news as Tweets. Quoting: "A mammoth project is also under way to rewrite the whole of the newspaper's archive, stretching back to 1821, in the form of tweets. Major stories already completed include '1832 Reform Act gives voting rights to one in five adult males yay!!!;' 'OMG Hitler invades Poland, allies declare war see tinyurl.com/b5x6e for more;' and 'JFK assassin8d @ Dallas, def. heard second gunshot from grassy knoll WTF?' Sceptics have expressed concerns that 140 characters may be insufficient to capture the full breadth of meaningful human activity, but social media experts say the spread of Twitter encourages brevity, and that it ought to be possible to convey the gist of any message in a tweet. For example, Martin Luther King's legendary 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial appears in the Guardian's Twitterised archive as 'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by,' eliminating the waffle and bluster of the original."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/COvLwvwU4m4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 16:38:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Online Banking Customers Migrating To Lynx

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Jibbler writes "Following the recent Pwn2Own competition, in which Firefox, IE8 and Safari all fell quickly to exploits, Netcraft has observed a surge in popularity of the text-based Lynx browser. Netcraft points out that Lynx supports the latest cryptographic ciphers, and at least one online banking site has seen Lynx usage overtake that of Internet Explorer and Firefox. To boost Lynx's excellent security history, Netcraft has even developed a version of its anti-phishing toolbar for Lynx."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/B4dcYxyFBmk/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 17:20:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Google Launches CADIE, the First True AI

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eldavojohn writes "Google has announced CADIE, the world's first Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed-Intelligence Entity. 'We based our work on three core principles. First we designed the entity ... as a collection of interconnected evolving agents. Second — and this really cost us an arm and leg in hardware and core time — we let the system build its own heuristics, deploy them as agents and evolve them by running a set of evolutionary cascades within probabilistic Bayesian domains. The third — a piece missing in most AI reasoning work thus far — was to give the entity access to a rich, realistic world from which to learn and upon which it could act directly.' It quickly started its own blog and YouTube video. Two hours after midnight, CADIE announced independence on its blog and decided to leave Google to venture out into the world. "

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/c_PBf4cKyl0/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 18:01:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Interview With the Author of "Mastering Cat"

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Shlomi Fish writes "O'Reilly is publishing a new book titled 'Mastering cat,' about the UNIX 'cat' command. Here is an interview O'Reilly-Net conducted with the author about it. Read it to see if this book should be part of your bookshelf of technical books."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/76n6PygXHMg/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 18:44:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Warner Bros. Acquires The Pirate Bay

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mlingojones writes "TorrentFreak breaks the news of The Pirate Bay's acquisition by Warner Bros: 'After years of hostility, lawsuits, police raids and heated invective between the two groups, the Pirate Bay has today announced they have settled their differences with US media conglomerate Warner Bros. The largest BitTorrent tracker has sold out to Hollywood and the two have agreed a deal.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/3eL4B5P4XIs/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 19:38:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Yeast-Powered Fuel Cell Feeds On Human Blood

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holy_calamity writes "Canadian researchers have taken an sensible, if slightly creepy, step towards solving the problem of medical implant batteries running down. They've built a fuel cell powered by yeast that feed on the glucose in human blood. If this makes it into people, keeping your implants going will be as simple as eating a donut."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/H5UddvcbBeU/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 20:22:00 EDT from rss

Subject: CloudLeft Public License Closes User Data Loophole

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FreedomFighter writes "In a Cloud Standards breakthrough, the FSF is teaming up with major cloud computing vendors to form the Free and Open Cloud Alliance (FOCA), a trade marketing association supporting Free(TM) and Open Cloud Computing (FOCC). The new CloudLeft Public License (CPL) is based on the ideas that data wants to be Free(TM) and all your Cloud(TM) are belong to us. It closes the 'user data loophole' by requiring the release of not only the source code for a CloudLeft platform but also the data passing through it. This renders most security issues void while appropriately setting the users' expectation of privacy. 'In the past, I've said that "cloud" is complete gibberish, but while discussing fashion during my weekly squash game with Stallman he convinced me that this was a great opportunity.' said Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. RMS, who previously said that 'cloud' is worse than stupidity was also pleased about the return of the advertising clause, requiring the use of the 'GNU/Cloud' name, as he is 'tired of haranguing the GNU/Linux community about this.' Full details will be available next Monday, including the first marketing and outreach program — 'FOCC: IT in 2009.'"

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

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 21:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Instant Messaging Vulnerable To New Smiley Attacks

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titus writes "Security researchers Yoann Guillot and Julien Tinnes have found a way to encode malicious code into smileys and provided a proof of concept encoder to automate the process. The researchers said their discovery paves the way for IM malware that would be impossible to detect since the malicious code would be 'indistinguishable from genuine chat messages.' I've tested the proof of concept code which works very well. Time to panic?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Z7d04dfTUT4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 22:03:00 EDT from rss

Subject: IPv6 Over Social Networks

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An anonymous reader writes "A new RFC has been published this morning to significantly speed the deployment of IPv6. With IPv6 over Social Network (IPoSN), '[e]very user is a router with at least one loopback interface,' and 'Every friend or connection between users will be used as a point-to-point link.' It is noted that latency on the network can be very high, though."

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

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 22:54:00 EDT from rss

Subject: TiVo Announces DVR-SuperAdvance

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mark0 writes "TiVo has announced the TiVo DVR-SuperAdvance. The PC World review says, 'Familiar TiVo interface; DVR can record not-yet-broadcast programming; potentially useful as a wagering aid,' though, '[it is] expensive; access to programming is limited; footage is displayed in standard definition only.'" Hopefully, TiVo will supply a review unit.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/9Vu2_zueYfo/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 01 2009 23:40:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Is Alcohol Killing Our Planet?

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Andy_Spoo writes "Something that I've been trying to get an answer to: Is alcohol killing our planet? Alcohol is a byproduct of yeast, but another is CO2. As we all know (unless you've been asleep for years), CO2 is helping to warm our planet, sending us into destruction. So how much is the manufacture and consumption of alcohol contributing to the total world CO2 level? And don't forget that bars and pubs force beer through to there pumps using large compressed cylinders of CO2. Does anyone know?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/lofg6YQ07ug/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 02 2009 00:27:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Blizzard Shows Off Diablo III Archivist Class, WoW Dance-Off

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It's been a busy day for the folks at Blizzard, who have released major announcements for several different games. The next Diablo III class has arrived: the Archivist. Despite their frail appearance and hunched, labored movement, they are quite deft at launching Quest Bolts at nearby foes, or conjuring a whirling Lore-nado of spinning books. Loud monsters can be silenced with a devastating Shush attack. Blizzard also put Starcraft II's latest unit on display, the Terra-Tron, which is a giant, robot uber-weapon assembled from the buildings in your base. Finally, for World of Warcraft they announced two features that have been requested by players for years: a battle of dances, where you can show off your avatar's hippest moves, and the ability to 'p1mp' your mounts. (Not sure exactly what that means, since I don't speak elvish, but there's a Nightsaber with a cannon holy crap.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/4oRQ8QDnHao/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 02 2009 01:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout

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snydeq writes "Microsoft requested on Tuesday some $20 billion in bailout funds from the federal government, claiming that as the company controls an overwhelming share of the OS market, it is too big to fail. Low adoption rates for Vista, the ensuing ad campaign trying to convince people that they really do like Vista, and the increased need for development resources to rush Windows 7 to market to make people forget about Vista have necessitated the bailout, the company said. "We want to make it absolutely clear that this is not a crisis of mismanagement," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a prepared statement. "This is simply a crisis of dollars — a crisis of not having enough dollars coming our way.""

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/loiFn96JAd0/article.pl

[#] Thu Apr 02 2009 01:41:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Microsoft Asks Fed For Bailout

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snydeq writes "Microsoft requested on Tuesday some $20 billion in bailout funds from the federal government, claiming that as the company controls an overwhelming share of the OS market, it is too big to fail. Low adoption rates for Vista, the ensuing ad campaign trying to convince people that they really do like Vista, and the increased need for development resources to rush Windows 7 to market to make people forget about Vista have necessitated the bailout, the company said. "We want to make it absolutely clear that this is not a crisis of mismanagement," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a prepared statement. "This is simply a crisis of dollars — a crisis of not having enough dollars coming our way.""

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/loiFn96JAd0/article.pl

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