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[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 19:00:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Fair Use Affirmed In Turntin Case

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Hugh Pickens writes "The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion affirming a ruling that will be cheered by digital fair use proponents for allowing a fair use of students' work when their teachers electronically file students' written work with the turnitin.com Web site so that newly submitted work can be compared against Turntin's database of existing student work to assess whether the new work is the result of plagiarism. The court stepped through the fair use analysis, dropping positive notes that affirm that commercial uses can be fair uses, that a use can be transformative 'in function or purpose without altering or actually adding to the original work,' and that the entirety of a work can be used without precluding a finding of fair use. Techdirt suggests that all of these points could have been helpful to Google in defending its book scanning efforts, 'since it could make pretty much the identical arguments on all points.' Unfortunately Google caved in that lawsuit and settled, "denying a strong fair use precedent and making Google look like an easy place for struggling industries to demand cash.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 19:00:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Fair Use Affirmed In Turnitin Case

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Hugh Pickens writes "The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an opinion affirming a ruling that will be cheered by digital fair use proponents for allowing a fair use of students' work when their teachers electronically file students' written work with the turnitin.com Web site so that newly submitted work can be compared against Turnitin's database of existing student work to assess whether the new work is the result of plagiarism. The court stepped through the fair use analysis, dropping positive notes that affirm commercial uses can be fair uses, that a use can be transformative 'in function or purpose without altering or actually adding to the original work,' and that the entirety of a work can be used without precluding a finding of fair use. Techdirt suggests that all of these points could have been helpful to Google in defending its book scanning efforts, 'since it could make pretty much the identical arguments on all points.' Unfortunately Google caved in that lawsuit and settled, 'denying a strong fair use precedent and making Google look like an easy place for struggling industries to demand cash.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 19:43:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: First Android-Based Netbook, Set-Top Box

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An anonymous reader writes "China based Skytone famous for making skype headsets have brought out a $100 device, the Alpha-680 netbook running Google Android for its OS. The device has Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB ports and an SD card slot. After watching the video though, I get a feeling that the boot time is somewhat long. IMO good enough for browsing." Also on the Android front, ruphus13 points out what the maker claims is the first "fully realized" non-mobile Android device (though I think there were some other non-mobile gadgets on diplay at CES), a set-top box from Motorola based on Android. According to the linked post, it's "capable of playing DVDs and CDs, transferring music and video to a mobile device, and ripping and storing files" and "will have a full-featured Chrome-like browser."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



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

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 20:31:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Sending Messages With Your Brain Via EEG

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An anonymous reader writes "From a University of Wisconsin-Madison announcement: 'In early April, Adam Wilson posted a status update on the social networking Web site Twitter — just by thinking about it. Just 23 characters long, his message, 'using EEG to send tweet,' demonstrates a natural, manageable way in which "locked-in" patients can couple brain-computer interface technologies with modern communication tools. A University of Wisconsin-Madison biomedical engineering doctoral student, Wilson is among a growing group of researchers worldwide who aim to perfect a communication system for users whose bodies do not work, but whose brains function normally.' A brief rundown of the system: Users focus on a monitor displaying a keyboard; the interface measures electrical impulses in the brain to print the chosen letters one by one. Wilson compares the learning curve to texting, calling it 'kind of a slow process at first.' But even practice doesn't bring it quite up to texting speed: 'I've seen people do up to eight characters per minute,' says Wilson. See video of the system in action."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/KQ5Wo2lSABM/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 21:18:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: A Layman's Guide To Bandwidth Pricing

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narramissic links to IT World's A Layman's Guide to Bandwidth Pricing, writing "Time Warner Cable has, for now, abandoned the tiered pricing trials that raised the ire of Congressman Eric Massa, among others. And, as some nice data points in a New York Times article reveal, it's good for us that they did. For instance, Comcast says it costs them $6.85 per home to double the internet capacity of a neighborhood. But the bit of the Times article that we should commit to memory is this:'If all Time Warner customers decided one day not to check their e-mail or download a single movie, the company's costs would be no different than on a day when every customer was glued to the screen watching one YouTube video after another.'"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/M3SifEEHnUs/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 22:10:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: RIAA Brief Attacks Free Software Foundation

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NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA has requested permission to file a response to the amicus curiae brief filed by the Free Software Foundation in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Boston case against a Boston University grad student accused of having downloaded some song files when in his teens. In their proposed response, the RIAA lawyers personally attacked The Free Software Foundation, Ray Beckerman (NewYorkCountryLawyer), and NYCL's blog, 'Recording Industry vs. The People'. The 9-page response (PDF) — 4 pages longer than the document to which it was responding — termed the FSF an organization 'dedicated to eliminating restrictions on copying, redistribution, and modifying computer programs', and accused the FSF of having an 'open and virulent bias against copyrights' and 'blatant bias' against the record companies. They called 'Recording Industry vs. The People' an 'anti-recording industry web site' and stated that NYCL 'is currently subject to a pending sanctions motion for his conduct in representing a defendant' (without disclosing that plaintiffs' lawyers were 'subject to a pending motion for Rule 11 sanctions for their conduct in representing plaintiffs' in that very case)."

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

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 21:33:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Should Network Cables Be Replaced?

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Jyms writes "As technology changes, so hubs routers and switches are upgraded, but does the cabling need replacing, and if so, how often? Coax gave way to CAT 5 and CAT 5e replaced that. If you are running a 100Mbit/s network on old CAT 5, can that affect performance? Do CAT 5(e) cables get old?"

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/6uQxOYkwjSo/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 23:00:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Google Brings 3D To Web With Open Source Plugin

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maxheadroom writes "Google has released an open source browser plugin that provides a JavaScript API for displaying 3D graphics in web content. Google hopes that the project will promote experimentation and help advance a collaborative effort with the Khronos Group and Mozilla to create open standards for 3D on the web. Google's plugin offers its own retained-mode graphics API, called O3D, which takes a different approach from a similar browser plugin created by Mozilla. Google's plugin is cross-platform compatible and works with several browsers. In an interview with Ars Technica, Google product manager Henry Bridge and engineering director Matt Papakipos say that Google's API will eventually converge with Mozilla's as the technology matures. The search giant hopes to bring programs like SketchUp and Google Earth to the browser space."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/qm_37jfk-V4/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 23:49:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Sink Your Balls Quickly With Pool-Cue Robots

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AndreV writes "In another attempt to dehumanize our bar games, a Canadian engineer has turned the classic game of billiards on its head with his BilliardBots pet project, which consists of a series of remote-controlled mobile robots meant to replace the standard cue sticks normally used to pocket pool balls. While in his version the basic rules remain, unlike regular billiards, players in this version simultaneously rush to pocket their designated balls (they don't take turns), 'thus it's very competitive and fast,' the creator says. In order to keep tight reigns on the mechatronic ball handlers' movements, he adapted a pair of Playstation controllers and says that playing 'requires dexterity, like a video game,' to control their 3.5-m/sec-maximum speeds. The 'bots are designed simply but effectively, using a 3-by-3-by-3-inch metal frame with an electronic board, two motors and rechargeable battery packs. Using a Bluetooth wireless communication protocol, its commands come from the wireless controller with single or double joystick selectable control (the other buttons are not used). Its other parameters are software programmable, such as maximum acceleration rate, maximum speed and maximum rotation speed."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_suXgm0IwHc/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 21 2009 18:12:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: BYU Prof. Says University Classrooms Will Be "Irrelevant" By 2020

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dragoncortez writes "According to this Deseret News article, University classrooms will be obsolete by 2020. BYU professor David Wiley envisions a world where students listen to lectures on iPods, and those lectures are also available online to everyone anywhere for free. Course materials are shared between universities, science labs are virtual, and digital textbooks are free. He says, 'Higher education doesn't reflect the life that students are living ... today's colleges are typically tethered, isolated, generic, and closed.' In the world according to Wiley, universities would still make money, because they have a marketable commodity: to get college credits and a diploma, you'd have to be a paying customer. Wiley helped start Flat World Knowledge, which creates peer-reviewed textbooks that can be downloaded for free, or bought as paperbacks for $30."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/0fszBYkPSZQ/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 00:36:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: World's First X-Ray Laser Goes Live

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smolloy writes "The world's first X-ray laser (LCLS) has seen first light. A Free Electron Laser (FEL) is based on the light that is emitted by accelerated electrons when they are forced to move in a curved path. The beam then interacts with this emitted light in order to excite coherent emission (much like in a regular laser); thus producing a very short, extremely bright, bunch of coherent X-ray photons. The engineering expertise that went into this machine is phenomenal — 'This is the most difficult light source that has ever been turned on,' said LCLS Construction Project Director John Galayda. 'It's on the boundary between the impossible and possible, and within two hours of start-up these guys had it right on.' — and the benefits to the applied sciences from research using this light can be expected to be enormous: 'For some disciplines, this tool will be as important to the future as the microscope has been to the past.' said SLAC Director Persis Drell."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Qf7cf5HduI4/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 03:36:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Consortium To Share Ad Revenue From Stolen Stories

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Hugh Pickens writes "Erick Schonfeld has an interesting story in TechCrunch about a consortium of publishers including Reuters, the Magazine Publishers of America, and Politico that plans to take a new approach towards the proliferation of splogs (spam blogs) and other sites which republish the entire feed of news sites and blogs, often without attribution or links. For any post or page which takes a full copy of a publisher's work, the Fair Syndication Consortium thinks the ad networks should pay a portion of the ad revenues being generated by those sites. Rather than go after these sites one at a time, the Fair Syndication Consortium wants to negotiate directly with the ad networks which serve ads on these sites: DoubleClick, Google's AdSense, and Yahoo. One precedent for this type of approach is YouTube's Content ID program, which splits revenues between YouTube and the media companies whose videos are being reused online. How would the ad networks know that the content in question belongs to the publisher? Attributor would keep track of it all and manage the requests for payment. The consortium is open to any publisher to join, including bloggers. It may not be the perfect solution but 'it is certainly better than sending out thousands of takedown notices' writes Schonfeld."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/2g1vEeSMXtY/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 00:08:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Biotech Company To Patent Pigs

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Anonymous Swine writes "Monsanto, a US based multinational biotech company, is causing a stir by its plan to patent pig-breeding techniques including the claim on animals born by the techniques. 'Agricultural experts are scrambling to assess how these patents might affect the market, while consumer activists warn that if the company is granted pig-related patents, on top of its tight rein on key feed and food crops, its control over agriculture could be unprecedented. "We're afraid that Monsanto and other big companies are getting control of the world's genetic resources," said Christoph Then, a patent expert with Greenpeace in Germany. The patent applications, filed with the World Intellectual Property Organization, are broad in scope, and are expected to take several years and numerous rewrites before approval.'"

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

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 06:41:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Ancient Books Go Online

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jd writes "The BBC is reporting that the United Nations' World Digital Library has gone online with an initial offering of 1,200 ancient manuscripts, parchments and documents. To no great surprise, Europe comes in first with 380 items. South America comes in second with 320, with a very distant third place being given to the Middle East at a paltry 157 texts. This is only the initial round, so the leader board can be expected to change. There are, for example, many Sumerian and Babylonian tablets, many of which are already online elsewhere. Astonishingly, the collection is covered by numerous copyright laws, according to the legal page. Use of material from a given country is subject to whatever restrictions that country places, in addition to any local and international copyright laws. With some of the contributions being over 8,000 years old, this has to be the longest copyright extension ever offered. There is nothing on whether the original artists get royalties, however."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/KIsReNMHs6A/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 09:51:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Study Claims 8.5% of Young Gamers "Pathologically Addicted"

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schnucki brings word of new research which claims roughly one in twelve American children between the ages of eight and 18 are "pathologically addicted" to video games. The study, conducted by Douglas Gentile, director of the National Institute on Media and the Family at Iowa State University, says that "pathological status was a significant predictor of poorer school performance even after controlling for sex, age, and weekly amount of video-game play." However, Professor Cheryl Olson, who has conducted her own research into video game use, questioned Gentile's methodology, saying, "The author is repurposing questions used to assess problem gambling in adults; however, lying to your spouse about blowing the rent money on gambling is a very different matter from fibbing to your mom about whether you played video games instead of starting your homework."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/Qh2bG-rKDrs/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 13:02:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Botnet Expert Wants 'Special Ops' Security Teams

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CWmike writes "Criminal cybergangs must be harried, hounded and hunted until they're driven out of business, a noted botnet researcher said as he prepared to pitch a new anti-malware strategy at the RSA Conference in SF. 'We need a new approach to fighting cybercrime,' said Joe Stewart, director of SecureWorks' counterthreat unit. 'What we're doing now is not making a significant dent.' He said teams of paid security researchers should set up like a police department's major crimes unit or a military special operations team, perhaps infiltrating the botnet group and employing a spectrum of disruptive tactics. Stewart cited last November's takedown of McColo as one success story. Another is the Conficker Working Group. 'Criminals are operating with the same risk-effort-reward model of legitimate businesses,' said Stewart. 'If we really want to dissuade them, we have to attack all three of those. Only then can we disrupt their business.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/kGufaE90OGU/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 13:43:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: The Road To Terabit Ethernet

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stinkymountain writes "Pre-standard 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet products — server network interface cards, switch uplinks and switches — are expected to hit the market later this year. Standards-compliant products are expected to ship in the second half of next year, not long after the expected June 2010 ratification of the 802.3ba standard. Despite the global economic slowdown, global revenue for 10G fixed Ethernet switches doubled in 2008, according to Infonetics. There is pent-up demand for 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet, says John D'Ambrosia, chair of the 802.3ba task force in the IEEE and a senior research scientist at Force10 Networks. 'There are a number of people already who are using link aggregation to try and create pipes of that capacity,' he says. 'It's not the cleanest way to do things...(but) people already need that capacity.' D'Ambrosia says even though 40/100G Ethernet products haven't arrived yet, he's already thinking ahead to terabit Ethernet standards and products by 2015. 'We are going to see a call for a higher speed much sooner than we saw the call for this generation' of 10/40/100G Ethernet, he says."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/CmttfVp89-M/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 14:25:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Using Conficker's Tricks To Root Out Infections

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iago-vL writes "Despite having their domain blacklisted by Conficker, the folks at Nmap have released version 4.85BETA8, which promises better detection of the Conficker worm. How? By talking to it on its own peer-to-peer network! By sending encrypted messages to a suspect host, the tools will get Conficker.C and higher to reveal itself. This curious case of using Conficker's own tricks to find it is similar to the last method that we discussed. More information from the author is available, as well as a download for the new release (or, if you're a Conficker refugee, try a mirror instead)."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/TwuKN1Hw4QM/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 15:07:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Pentagon Cyber-Command In the Works

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An anonymous reader sends word of a new cybersecurity project to defend US networks from attacks and strengthen the government's "offensive capabilities in cyberwarfare." Right now, the most likely candidate to lead the project is the Director of the NSA, Keith Alexander, who was quick to assert that the NSA itself wouldn't try to run the whole show (something they've been criticized for in the past). Quoting the Wall Street Journal: "Cyber defense is the Department of Homeland Security's responsibility, so the command would be charged with assisting that department's defense efforts. The relationship would be similar to the way Northern Command supports Homeland Security with rescue capabilities in natural disasters. The NSA, where much of the government's cybersecurity expertise is housed, established a similar relationship with Homeland Security through a cybersecurity initiative that the Bush administration began in its final year."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/c1Dd2DaiEgc/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 22 2009 15:50:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Developing Battery Replacement Infrastructure For Electric Cars

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FathomIT sends in a NY Times profile of Shai Agassi, owner of a company named Better Place, who is working to build the infrastructure to support large numbers of small-scale charging spots for electric cars, as well as fast, automated battery swap stations. "The robot — a squat platform that moves on four dinner-plate-size white wheels — scuttled back and forth along a 20-foot-long set of metal rails. At one end of the rails, a huge blue battery, the size of a large suitcase, sat suspended in a frame. As we watched, the robot zipped up to the battery, made a nearly inaudible click, and pulled the battery downward. It ferried the battery over to the other end of the rails, dropped it off, picked up a new battery, hissed back over to the frame and, in one deft movement, snapped the new battery in the place of the old one. The total time: 45 seconds."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/kFYM9F6GNzQ/article.pl

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