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[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 02:05:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Tyler Bell On Yahoo's Open Location API

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blackbearnh writes "Yahoo! has been working for a while to promote a unified system for referring to places, through their Where On Earth IDs. Using a WOEID, you can query Yahoo's publicly available APIs to find out things like what cities are in a county, or what counties border each other. In an interview for O'Reilly Radar, Tyler Bell, the product lead for the Yahoo Geo Technology Group, talks about their Open Location program (not to be confused with openlocation.org, a different group altogether.) He also talks about how privacy concerns interact with the increasing use of personal geotracking, and the troublesome problem of what to call places. 'I'm not even going to tell you about the problems we had when we accidentally called Constantinople Byzantium, just slipping back about 800 years there accidentally. That's a very sensitive issue. Any company dealing with geography is going to have to address it somehow. So I'll be very candid in how Yahoo addresses this. I mean first, our stated goal is to capture the world's geography as it is used by the world's people. We don't see ourselves as the definitive authority on how a place should be called.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/D-WcfedSS5s/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 04:36:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use

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Alyssey writes "The Mexican Government wants to have a database to track every cellphone number in the country (in Spanish, Google translation) and whom it belongs to. They want to tie in the CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) with cellphone numbers. If Mexicans don't send in their number and CURP via SMS before April 10, 2010, their cellphone number will be blocked. The new law was published back in February and going into effect now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/SrbeKa_evg4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 07:07:00 EDT from rss

Subject: World of Warcraft 3.1 Patch Brings Dual-Specs, New Raid

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

On Tuesday Blizzard rolled out the first major content patch for World of Warcraft since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King last November. The 3.1 patch includes the long-awaited dual-specialization feature, which allows players to quickly and easily switch from one set of talent choices to another. Action bars and glyph choices change as well. The patch also includes a new end-game raid dungeon, Ulduar, which expands upon the variable difficulty modes Blizzard has recently experimented with. The instance contains 14 bosses, 10 of which have an optional "hard mode" that players can attempt for better rewards. In addition, the patch contains a host of class balance changes, bug fixes, and UI improvements. You can see the full patch notes at Blizzard's website, and a brief trailer is also available.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/bIPg-1FgA8M/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 04:36:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Mexican Government To Document Cell Phone Use

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

Alyssey writes "The Mexican government wants to have a database to track every cellphone number in the country (in Spanish, Google translation) and whom it belongs to. They want to tie in the CURP (Unique Registration Population Code in Spanish, like the Social Security Number in the US) with cellphone numbers. If Mexicans don't send in their number and CURP via SMS before April 10, 2010, their cellphone number will be blocked. The new law was published back in February and is going into effect now."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/SrbeKa_evg4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 02:05:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Tyler Bell On Yahoo's Open Location API

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

blackbearnh writes "Yahoo! has been working for a while to promote a unified system for referring to places, through their Where On Earth IDs. Using a WOEID, you can query Yahoo's publicly available APIs to find out things like what cities are in a county, or what counties border each other. In an interview for O'Reilly Radar, Tyler Bell, the product lead for the Yahoo Geo Technology Group, talks about their Open Location program (not to be confused with openlocation.org, a different group altogether.) He also talks about how privacy concerns interact with the increasing use of personal geotracking, and the troublesome problem of what to call places. 'I'm not even going to tell you about the problems we had when we accidentally called Constantinople Byzantium, just slipping back about 800 years there accidentally. That's a very sensitive issue. Any company dealing with geography is going to have to address it somehow. So I'll be very candid in how Yahoo addresses this. I mean first, our stated goal is to capture the world's geography as it is used by the world's people. We don't see ourselves as the definitive authority on how a place should be called.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/D-WcfedSS5s/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/-A5cYpCyVuM/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/QjBlDC-TbLY/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oprou1aWgCA/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."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/mbiM1svVMO8/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."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_rdyGifu2Tk/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_HghIf-r7Zo/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/unlU0bq-AnY/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)."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/PAVB9lOwn9U/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."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/dj_MzhD9R3w/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ddEfHFsYehA/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."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Mev4wAkwlsc/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:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/n1LkSptdkQo/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 07:07:00 EDT from rss

Subject: World of Warcraft 3.1 Patch Brings Dual-Specs, New Raid

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

On Tuesday Blizzard rolled out the first major content patch for World of Warcraft since the launch of Wrath of the Lich King last November. The 3.1 patch includes the long-awaited dual-specialization feature, which allows players to quickly and easily switch from one set of talent choices to another. Action bars and glyph choices change as well. The patch also includes a new end-game raid dungeon, Ulduar, which expands upon the variable difficulty modes Blizzard has recently experimented with. The instance contains 14 bosses, 10 of which have an optional "hard mode" that players can attempt for better rewards. In addition, the patch contains a host of class balance changes, bug fixes, and UI improvements. You can see the full patch notes at Blizzard's website, and a brief trailer is also available.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/bIPg-1FgA8M/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 15 2009 10:11:00 EDT from rss

Subject: Curved Laser Beams Could Help Tame Lightning

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Urchin writes "Laser beams just gained a new property — they can curve through space. That's what happens when ultrashort laser pulses pass through a phase pattern mask and a lens, which together shift the most intense region of the beam from the center to the right-hand side. The asymmetry in the pulse causes it to drift progressively further to the right along an arc as it travels. The laser beam is so intense that it ionizes the air it passes through to create a curved plasma channel. Those kinds of channels can be up to 100 meters long — direct them at thunderclouds and they could first trigger lightning to spark and then act as a convenient but short-lived lightning rod to guide it safely to the ground, according to some researchers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/qpbes9myR_s/article.pl

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

Subject: Are Human Beings Organisms Or Living Ecosystems?

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Hugh Pickens writes "Every human body harbors about 100 trillion bacterial cells, outnumbering human cells 10 to one. There's been a growing consensus among scientists that bacteria are not simply random squatters, but organized communities that evolve with us and are passed down from generation to generation. 'Human beings are not really individuals; they're communities of organisms,' says microbiologist Margaret McFall-Ngai. 'This could be the basis of a whole new way of looking at disease.' Recently, for example, evidence has surfaced that obesity may well include a microbial component. Jeffrey Gordon's lab at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis published findings that lean and obese twins — whether identical or fraternal — harbor strikingly different bacterial communities that are not just helping to process food directly; they actually influence whether that energy is ultimately stored as fat in the body. Last year, the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Microbiome Project to characterize the role of microbes in the human body, a formal recognition of bacteria's far-reaching influence, including their contributions to human health and certain illnesses. William Karasov, a physiologist and ecologist at University of Wisconsin-Madison, believes that the consequences of this new approach will be profound. 'We've all been trained to think of ourselves as human,' says Karasov, adding that bacteria have usually been considered only as the source of infections, or as something benign living in the body. Now, Karasov says, it appears 'we are so interconnected with our microbes that anything studied before could have a microbial component that we hadn't thought about.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/eoBKe-e6YOo/article.pl

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