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[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 10:13:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Ponzi Schemes Multiply On YouTube

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Hugh Pickens writes "While it's probably not true that P. T. Barnum was the originator of the saying 'there's a sucker born every minute,' the proliferation of nearly 23,000 Ponzi schemes on YouTube, with an astounding 59,192,963 views, proves that the sentiment is still alive and well. The videos usually don't ask for money directly, but send viewers to web sites where they are urged to sign up for the 'gifting program,' usually for fees ranging from $150 to $5,000. One of the videos recently added on YouTube featured Bible quotes, pictures of stacks of money and a testimonial from a man who said he not only got rich from cash gifting, but also found true happiness and lost 35 pounds. 'They make it seem like it's legal and an easy way to make money, but it's nothing more than a pyramid scheme,' says Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Alison Southwick. Some of the videos claim that because it's 'gifting,' it's somehow legal. 'They talk about "cash leveraging," whatever that means, and other vague marketing talk,' says Southwick, but the basic scheme is that participants are told to recruit more people who will put in more money. 'It's just money changing hands,' says Southwick, 'and it always goes to people at the top of the pyramid.' A spokesman for YouTube, which is owned by Google Inc., said the company doesn't comment on individual videos."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/jl_1ZU6RWQ8/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 13:15:00 EDT from rss

Subject: PG&E Makes Deal For Solar Power From Space

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N!NJA writes "California's biggest energy utility announced a deal Monday to purchase 200 megawatts of electricity from a startup company that plans to beam the power down to Earth from outer space, beginning in 2016. Solaren would generate the power using solar panels in Earth orbit and convert it to radio-frequency transmissions that would be beamed down to a receiving station in Fresno, PG&E said. From there, the energy would be converted into electricity and fed into PG&E's power grid."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/YcG--RoNjoY/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 14:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: China Denies Role In US Grid Hacks

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Slatterz writes "The Chinese government is denying any involvement in the reported infiltration of US electric grid systems. Xinhua news agency quoted Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu as saying that any sort of involvement from China in the incident "doesn't exist at all." The denial follows a report in the Wall Street Journal which claimed that agents from China and Russia along with several other countries had infiltrated the computer systems charged with managing electricity in the US and left behind software payloads which could be used to control or disable electric grids in the US." Bruce Schneier is skeptical about the whole story.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/EXjtLm9BZrY/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 14:42:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Facebook Users Get Lower Grades In College

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Hugh Pickens writes "According to a survey of college students Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users. The study by Aryn Karpinski, an education researcher at Ohio State University, found that Facebook user GPAs are in the 3.0 to 3.5 range on average, compared to 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users and that Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week. Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation and that the grades association could be caused by something else. 'I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied.' One hypothesis is that students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook or that students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music. 'It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades. But perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online.' As for herself, Karpinski said she doesn't have a Facebook account, although the co-author of the study does. 'For me, I think Facebook is a huge distraction.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/19NBDS_xqB4/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 15:30:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Some of the Weirder Ideas From CHI 2009

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An anonymous reader writes "Technology Review has a roundup of some of the weirder ideas on show at last week's Computer-Human Interaction conference in Boston. They include a trackball that heats up as you roll over different parts of an image, a pair of goggles that track eye movements using electrooculography, and a miniature robot with a cellphone for its head."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/iry9z2WFRNM/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 15:06:00 EDT from rss

Subject: He's a Mac, He's a PC, But We're Linux!

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davidmwilliams writes "Earlier this year the Linux Foundation launched a competition for budding writers, film makers and just general Linux enthusiasts to make their own grassroots advertisement to compete with Apple's highly-successful 'I'm a Mac' series of adverts. The winner has now been announced."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/GmQnZeGpCT4/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 16:23:00 EDT from rss

Subject: EU Investigates Phorm's UK ISP Advertising System

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MJackson writes "The European Commission has opened an infringement proceeding against the UK after a series of complaints by Internet users, and extensive communication with UK authorities, about the use of Phorm's behavioural advertising system, which uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, by internet service providers. Phorm works with UK ISPs to monitor what websites you visit for use in targeted advertising campaigns, though its methods have raised more than a few fears about invasions of privacy. Similar services in the USA have caused an equal level of controversy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/n1LkSptdkQo/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 17:09:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Work Progresses On 10,000 Year Clock

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KindMind writes "CNet has pictures of a planned 10,000 year clock to be built in eastern Nevada by the Long Now Foundation. From the article: 'Running under its own power, the clock is an experiment in art, science, and engineering. The six dials on the face of this machine will represent the year, century, horizons, sun position, lunar phase, and the stars of the night sky over a 10,000-year period. Likely to span multiple generations and evolutions in culture, the thinking and design put into the monument makes it a moving sculpture as beautiful as it is complex.' This was reviewed on Slashdot in 2005. Really cool pictures, including one of a mechanical 'binary computer' that converts the pendulum into positions on the dial."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Mev4wAkwlsc/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 15:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: What Do You Call People Who "Do HTML"?

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gilgongo writes "It's more than 10 years since people started making a living writing web page markup, yet the job title (and role) has yet to settle down. Not only that, but there are different types of people who write markup: those that approach the craft as essentially an integration task, and those that see it as part of UI design overall. The situation is further complicated by the existence of other roles in the workplace such as graphic designer and information architect. This is making recruitment for this role a real headache. So, how do you describe people who 'do HTML' (and CSS and maybe a bit of JavaScript and graphics manipulation)? Some job titles I've seen include: Design Technologist, Web Developer, Front-end Developer, HTML/CSS Developer, Client-side Developer and UI Engineer. Do you have any favourite job titles for this role?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Ldf4hLFtzrY/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 14:29:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Computer-Controlled Cargo Sailing Vessels Go Slow, Frugal

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An anonymous reader writes "Big container ships are taking it very slow these days, cruising at 10 knots instead of their usual 26 knots, to save fuel. This is actually slower than sailing freighters traveled a hundred years ago. The 1902 German Preussen, the largest sailing ship ever built, traveled between Hamburg (Germany) and Iquique (Chile): the best average speed over a one way trip was 13.7 knots. Sailing boats need a large and costly crew, but they can also be controlled by computers. Automated sail handling was introduced already one century ago. In 2006 it was taken to the extreme by the Maltese Falcon, which can be operated by one man at the touch of a button. We have computer-controlled windmills, why not computer-controlled sailing cargo vessels?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/hFkaiY5ozEc/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 17:53:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Google Losing Up To $1.65M a Day On YouTube

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An anonymous reader writes "The average visitor to YouTube is costing Google between one and two dollars, according to new research that shows Google losing up to $1.65 million per day on the video site. More than two years after Google acquired YouTube, income from premium offers and other revenue generators don't offset YouTube's expenses of content acquisition, bandwidth, and storage. YouTube is expected to serve 75 billion video streams to 375 million unique visitors in 2009, costing Google up to $2,064,054 a day, or $753 million annualized. Revenue projections for YouTube fall between $90 million and $240 million." Maybe this is in part because, as Al writes, "Researchers from HP Palo Alto studied videos uploaded to YouTube and found that popularity has little to do with quality or persistence."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 18:38:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Obama Taps a 5th Lawyer From the RIAA

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risingfish writes "Looks like Obama did what many organizations have asked him not to do. In a disappointing move, he has tapped a fifth RIAA lawyer to a top spot in the Justice Department."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/dj_MzhD9R3w/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 19:13:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Microsoft Won't Vouch For Linux

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theodp writes "Gov. Christine Gregoire applauded Microsoft's job training partnership with WA state and county government agencies, which calls for the distribution of 30,625 training vouchers statewide during the next 90 days. 'This program [Elevate America] is all about equipping people with the new skills they'll need to get a job in the changing economy,' said Microsoft Counsel Brad Smith, who also made it very clear that getting 'workforce ready' won't involve acquiring any Linux skills. At least this offer appears to be no-cost, unlike the $35 Microsoft requested in an e-mail come-on for 'The Stimulus Package for Your Career' (so much for Smith's and Gregoire's war on spam)."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/PAVB9lOwn9U/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 20:00:00 EDT from rss

Subject: NASA Taking Ethernet Into Deeper Space

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coondoggie writes "While Ethernet technology has gone places no one would have envisioned 36 years ago, NASA today signed an agreement with a German Ethernet vendor to build highly fault-tolerant networks for space-based applications. TTTech builds a set of time-triggered services called TTEthernet that is implemented on top of standard IEEE802.3 Ethernet. Its technology is designed to enable design of synchronous, highly dependable embedded computing and networking, capable of tolerating multiple faults, the company said."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/unlU0bq-AnY/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 20:42:00 EDT from rss

Subject: College Police Think Using Linux Is Suspicious Behavior

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FutureDomain writes "The Boston College Campus Police have seized the electronics of a computer science student for allegedly sending an email outing another student. The probable cause? The search warrant application states that he is 'a computer science major' and he uses 'two different operating systems for hiding his illegal activity. One is the regular B.C. operating system and the other is a black screen with white font which he uses prompt commands on.' The EFF is currently representing him."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_HghIf-r7Zo/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 21:27:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Android 1.5 SDK Is Released

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RadiusK writes "Starting today, developers can get an early look at the SDK for the next version of the Android platform. Version 1.5 introduces APIs for features such as soft keyboards, home screen widgets, live folders, and speech recognition. At the developer site, you can download the early-look Android 1.5 SDK, read important information about upgrading your Eclipse plugin and existing projects, and learn about what's new and improved in Android 1.5."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_rdyGifu2Tk/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 22:18:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Vista Post-SP2 Is the Safest OS On the Planet

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pkluss noted Kevin Turner, COO of Microsoft making the proclamation that "Vista today, post-Service Pack 2, which is now in the marketplace, is the safest, most reliable OS we've ever built. It's also the most secure OS on the planet, including Linux and open source and Apple Leopard. It's the safest and most secure OS on the planet today."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/mbiM1svVMO8/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 22:59:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mozilla Mulls Dropping Firefox For Win2K, Early XP

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CWmike writes "Mozilla is pondering dropping support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP without Service Pack 3 when it ships the follow-up to Firefox 3.5 in 2010, show discussions on the mozilla.dev.planning forum by developers and Mozilla executives, including the company's chief engineer and its director of Firefox. 'Raise the minimum requirements on Gecko 1.9.2 (and any versions of Firefox built on 1.9.2) for Windows builds to require Windows XP Service Pack 3 or higher,' said Michael Conner, one of the company's software engineers, to start the discussion. Mozilla is currently working on Gecko 1.9.1, the engine that powers Firefox 3.5, the still-in-development browser the company hopes to release at some point in the second quarter. Gecko 1.9.2, and the successor to Firefox 3.5 built on it — dubbed 'Firefox.next' and code named 'Namoroka' — are slated to wrap up in 'early-to-mid 2010,' according to Mozilla."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oprou1aWgCA/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 14 2009 23:46:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Strings Link the Ultra-Cold With the Super-Hot

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gabrlknght writes "Superstring theory claims the power to explain the universe, but critics say it can't be tested by experiment. Lately, though, string math has helped explain a couple of surprising experiments creating 'perfect liquids' at cosmic extremes of hot and cold. 'Both systems can be described as something like a shadow world sitting in a higher dimension. Strongly coupled particles are linked by ripples traveling through the extra dimension, says Steinberg, of Brookhaven. String math describing such ripples stems from an idea called the holographic principle, used by string theorists to describe certain kinds of black holes. A black hole's entropy depends on its surface area — as though all the information in its three-dimensional interior is stored on its two-dimensional surface. (The 'holographic' label is an allusion to ordinary holograms, where 3-D images are coated on a 2-D surface, like an emblem on a credit card.) The holographic principle has value because in some cases the math for a complex 3-D system (neglecting time) can be too hard to solve, but the equivalent 4-D math provides simpler equations to describe the same phenomena.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/QjBlDC-TbLY/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 00:37:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Using Net Proxies Will Lead To Harsher Sentences

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Afforess writes "'Proxy servers are an everyday part of Internet surfing. But using one in a crime could soon lead to more time in the clink,' reports the Associated Press. The new federal rules would make the use of proxy servers count as 'sophistication' in a crime, leading to 25% longer jail sentences. Privacy advocates complain this will disincentivize privacy and anonymity online. '[The government is telling people] ... if you take normal steps to protect your privacy, we're going to view you as a more sophisticated criminal,' writes the Center for Democracy and Technology. Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments' as Internet and cell phone providers often use proxies without users' knowledge to reroute Internet traffic. This may also ultimately harm corporations when employees abuse VPN's, as they too are counted as a 'proxy' in the new legislation. TOR, a common Internet anonymizer, is also targeted in the new legislation. Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks. The legislation (PDF, the proposed amendment is on pages 5-15) will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and is set to take effect on November 1st. The EFF has already urged the Commission to reject the amendment."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/-A5cYpCyVuM/article.pl

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