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[#] Tue Apr 28 2009 18:38:00 EDT from kdawson

Subject: Cablevision To Offer 101 Mbps Down, No Caps

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nandemoari alerts us to news over at DSLReports that Cablevision will be offering subscribers 101-Mbps download service, a new US record. That's fast enough to download an HD movie in less than 10 minutes. The package, known as "Ultra," will launch on May 11 and will cost $99.95 a month. Upload speed is 15 Mbps and there are no monthly limits. Cablevision is also doubling the speed of its Wi-Fi service, which is available free to subscribers using hotspots across the Northeast. "...the company will be launching a new 'Ultra' tier on May 11. The new tier features speeds of 101Mbps downstream and 15Mbps upstream for $99.95 a month. That's an unprecedented amount of speed at an unprecedented price, suggesting that Cablevision just took the gloves off in their fight against Verizon FiOS. ... Cablevision spokesman Jim Maiella confirmed for me that the $99.95 price is unbundled, and the new tier does not come with any kind of a usage cap or overage fees."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Tue Apr 28 2009 17:49:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Google To Remove "Inappropriate" Books From Digital Library

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Miracle Jones writes "In an interview with Professor (and former Microsoft employee) James Grimmelmann at the New York Law School, who is both setting up an online clearinghouse to discuss the Google book settlement and drafting an amicus brief to inform the court about the antitrust factors surrounding "orphan books," he revealed that Google will be able to moderate the content of its book scans in the same way that they moderate their YouTube videos, leaving out works that Google deems "inappropriate" from the 7 million library books it has scanned. The Fiction Circus has called for a two-year long rights auction that will ensure that these "inappropriate" titles do not get left behind in the digital era, and that other people who are willing to host and display these books will be able to do so. There is only one week left for authors and publishers to "opt out" of the settlement class and retain their rights or raise objections, and Brewster Kahle's Internet Archive has been stopped from jumping on board Google's settlement as a party defendant and receiving the same legal protections that Google will get. A group of authors, including Philip K. Dick's estate, has tried to delay the settlement for four more months until they get their minds around the issue." In related news, Google is seeking a 60-day extension to the period in which it's attempting to contact authors to inform them of their right to opt-out of the terms of the settlement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/nYGccM6llZo/article.pl

[#] Tue Apr 28 2009 17:07:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Crowd-Source Translation Software For Free Content?

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yahyamf writes "I have a lot of free educational content in the form of audio lectures and text, which I'd like to translate into as many languages as possible. I would also want to transcribe the audio and create audiobooks from the text. There are already several volunteers willing to contribute, but I need some web based software to manage all the work. Facebook is already doing something like this, but it is only for their content. I've also looked at Damned Lies, which is part of the Gnome project, but it doesn't seem to handle audio. Are there any other open source translation projects out there that I can customize and build upon?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Tue Apr 28 2009 16:20:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Competition Seeks Best Approaches To Detecting Plagiarism

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marpot writes "Does your school/university check your homeworks/theses for plagiarism? Nowadays, probably Yes, but are they doing it properly? Little is known about plagiarism detection accuracy, which is why we conduct a competition on plagiarism detection, sponsored by Yahoo! We have set up a corpus of artificial plagiarism which contains plagiarism with varying degrees of obfuscation, and translation plagiarism from Spanish or German source documents. A random plagiarist was employed who attempts to obfuscate his plagiarism with random sequences of text operations, e.g., shuffling, deleting, inserting, or replacing a word. Translated plagiarism is created using machine translation."

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http://rss.slashdot.org:80/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/T89Fi1POgJQ/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 06:43:00 EDT from kdawson

Subject: Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy

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david_adams writes "All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections. Even if we were to be able to limit voting to legitimate, legal voters, the realities of social networking and the rise of Internet-based movements would dramatically alter the political landscape if online voting were to become commonplace."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 06:43:00 EDT from kdawson

Subject: Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy

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david_adams writes "All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections. Even if we were to be able to limit voting to legitimate, legal voters, the realities of social networking and the rise of Internet-based movements would dramatically alter the political landscape if online voting were to become commonplace."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 10:01:00 EDT from kdawson

Subject: Some Large Dinosaurs Survived the K-T Extinction

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mmmscience sends along coverage from the Examiner on evidence that some dinosaurs survived the extinction event(s) at the end of the Cretaceous period. Here is the original journal article. "A US paleontologist is challenging one of the field's greatest theories: the mass extinction of dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period. Jim Fassett, a paleontologist who holds an emeritus position at the US Geological Survey, recently published a paper in Palaeontologia Electronica with evidence that points to a pocket of dinosaurs that somehow survived in remote parts New Mexico and Colorado for up to half a million years past the end of the Cretaceous period. If this theory holds up, these dinosaurs would be the only ones that made it to the Paleocene Age."

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/RN9tnutUs4w/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 13:15:00 EDT from kdawson

Subject: US ISPs Using Push Polling To Stop Cheap Internet

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An anonymous reader writes "What happens when a new ISP is started somewhere in the United States that completely blows out of the water all the other ISPs in the area, in terms of price and performance? Apparently, that question is being answered in North Carolina, where Greenlight Inc., a company started by a city government, is trying to offer faster, more reliable, and cheaper Internet service to the local residents. Time Warner and Embarq can't compete. So they are not only lobbying the state government to destroy the upstart competition, but are now using push polling methods to gain support, across the two cities that could benefit from the new ISP, for the 'Level the playing field' legislation they got introduced in the legislature." A local news outlet provides coverage more friendly to the incumbents' point of view.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/21hY0JnnIw8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 13:56:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Justice Dept. Opens Antitrust Inquiry Into Google Books Deal

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Mad Hamster points out a NY Times report that the US Department of Justice has launched an antitrust inquiry (may require free registration) to take a look at the deal Google has made with book publishers and authors for its Book Search service. Quoting: "Lawyers for the Justice Department have been in conversations in recent weeks with various groups opposed to the settlement, including the Internet Archive and Consumer Watchdog. More recently, Justice Department lawyers notified the parties to the settlement, including Google, and representatives for the Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild, that they were looking into various antitrust issues related to the far-reaching agreement. The inquiry does not necessarily mean that the department will oppose the settlement, which is subject to a court review. But it suggests that some of the concerns raised by critics, who say the settlement would unfairly give Google an exclusive license to profit from millions of books, have resonated with the Justice Department."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 14:38:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Bandwidth Fines Bad, But Not Net Neutrality Issue

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Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes with his take on the recent Time Warner Cable fiasco: "Net Neutrality crusaders at FreePress.net recently called attention to Time Warner's plan (later rescinded) to impose fines on users for going over bandwidth limits. I agree generally, but I think this is easily confused with the reasoning in favor of Net Neutrality, and it's important to keep the arguments separate." Read on for the rest of Bennett's thoughts.

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/21dS_JbiToA/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 15:21:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Australian Gov't Offers $560k Cryptographic Protocol For Free

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mask.of.sanity writes "Australia's national welfare agency will release its 'unbreakable' AU$560,000 smart card identification protocol for free. The government agency wants other departments and commercial businesses to adopt the Protocol for Lightweight Authentication of ID (PLACID), which withstood three years of design and testing by Australian and American security agencies. The agency has one of Australia's most advanced physical and logical converged security systems: staff can access doors and computers with a single centrally-managed identity card, and user identities can be automatically updated as employees leave, are recruited or move to new departments. PLACID, which will be available soon, is to be used in the agency's incoming fleet of contact-less smartcards that are currently under trial by staff. It will replace existing identity cards that operate on PKI encryption."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 16:01:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Is Apache Or GPL Better For Open-Source Business?

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mjasay writes "While the GPL powers as much as 77% of all Sourceforge projects, Eric Raymond argues that the GPL is 'a confession of fear and weakness' that 'slows down open-source adoption' because of the fear and uncertainty the GPL provokes. Raymond's argument seems to be that if openness is the winning strategy, an argument Michael Tiemann advocates, wouldn't it make sense to use the most open license? Geir Magnusson of the Apache Software Foundation suggests that there are few 'pure' GPL-only open-source projects, as GPL-prone developers have to 'modify it in some way to get around the enforcement of Freedom(SM) in GPL so people can use the project.' But the real benefit of Apache-style licensing may not be for developers at all, and rather accrue to businesses hoping to drive adoption of their products: Apache licensing may encourage broader, deeper adoption than the GPL. The old GPL vs. BSD/Apache debate may not be about developer preferences so much as new business realities."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/eHT167v8QE0/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 16:42:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: A Touch Screen With Morphing Buttons

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Al writes "Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have created a touch screen that can also produce physical buttons. Graduate student Chris Harrison and professor Scott Hudson use a projector and infrared sensor below the screen to illuminate it and make it touch-sensitive, and the physical buttons are created using air pumps below the surface. They say this type of screen could be particularly useful when a simple, flat touch-screen is too distracting, for example in a vehicle dashboard."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/oWSnox6oR3I/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 17:22:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Russian Manned Space Vehicle May Land With Rockets

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The Narrative Fallacy writes "Russia's next-generation manned space vehicle may be equipped with thrusters to perform a precision landing on its return to Earth. Previous manned missions have landed on Earth using a parachute or, in the case of space shuttles, a pair of wings. Combined with retractable landing legs and a re-usable thermal protection system, the new system promises to enable not only a safe return to Earth, but also the possibility of performing multiple space missions with the same crew capsule. The spacecraft will fire its engines at an altitude of just 600-800m, as the capsule is streaking toward Earth after re-entering the atmosphere at the end of its mission. After a vertical descent, the precision landing would be initiated at the altitude of 30m above the surface. Last July, Korolev-based RKK Energia released the first drawings of a multi-purpose transport ship, known as the Advanced Crew Transportation System (ACTS), which, at the time, Russia had hoped to develop in co-operation with Europe. 'It was explained to us how it was supposed to work and, I think, from the technical point of view, there is no doubt that this concept would work,' says Christian Bank, the leading designer of manned space systems at EADS-Astrium in Bremen, Germany. However, the design of the spacecraft's crew capsule had raised eyebrows in some quarters, as it lacked a parachute — instead sporting a cluster of 12 soft-landing rockets, burning solid propellant. Inside Russia, the idea apparently has many detractors. During the formal defense of the project, one high-ranking official skeptical of the rocket-cushioned approach to landing reportedly used an unprintable expletive to describe what was going to happen to crew members unlucky enough to encounter a rocket engine failure a few seconds before touchdown."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/XNol-DQZ3Nw/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 18:01:00 EDT from Soulskill

Subject: Bolivia Is the Saudi Arabia of Lithium

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tcd004 writes "You can literally scrape valuable lithium off the ground of many Bolivian salt flats. The country is poised to be the center of world lithium battery production, reaping the benefit of the metal's skyrocketing value. 'The US Geological Survey says 5.4 million tons of lithium could potentially be extracted in Bolivia, compared with 3 million in Chile, 1.1 million in China and just 410,000 in the United States. ... Ailing automakers in the United States are pinning their hopes on lithium. General Motors next year plans to roll out its Volt, a car using a lithium-ion battery along with a gas engine. Nissan, Ford and BMW, among other carmakers, have similar projects.' However, the government fears foreign countries might exploit their natural resources, so for the time being, the salt flats remain untouched."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/pdBPrqPzqj8/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 18:50:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: Styling Web Pages With CSS

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r3lody writes "Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guide, by Tom Negrino and Dori Smith, helps the beginning web designer learn how to use CSS in a simple, easy-to-follow format. This being my first exposure to one of the Visual QuickProject Guides by Peachpit Press, I was both pleased and disappointed when I received this slim volume. I was pleased in the presentation and clear descriptions given to each aspect of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). I was disappointed in the brevity of the text, and the lack of downloadable materials to use to follow the examples in the book." Read below for the rest of Ray's review.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 19:32:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Minnesota Latest To Try To Block Gambling Sites

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BcNexus writes "A story is developing that the state of Minnesota is contacting ISPs with a request to block about 200 gambling sites online. Minnesota is claiming authority to do so under a 1961 federal law, apparently the Federal Wire Wager Act. There are a couple interesting aspects to watch as this unfolds. Will the ISPs cooperate or will they argue about applicability to casino games, as other have? Will Minnesotans lose their money or access to their money in escrow accounts like the state is warning will happen?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




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

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 20:18:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Adobe Confirms PDF Zero-Day, Says Kill JavaScript

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CWmike writes "Adobe Systems has acknowledged that all versions of its Adobe Reader, including editions for Windows, the Mac and Linux, contain at least one, and possibly two, critical vulnerabilities. 'All currently supported shipping versions of Adobe Reader and Acrobat, [Versions] 9.1, 8.1.4 and 7.1.1 and earlier, are vulnerable to this issue,' said Adobe's David Lenoe said in a blog entry yesterday. He was referring to a bug in Adobe's implementation of JavaScript that went public early Tuesday. A "Bugtraq ID," or BID number has been assigned to a second JavaScript vulnerability in Adobe's Reader. Proof-of-concept attack code for both bugs has already been published on the Web. Adobe said it will patch Reader and Acrobat, but Lenoe offered no timetable for the fixes. In lieu of a patch, Lenoe recommended that users disable JavaScript in the apps. Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle Network Security, said of the suggestion in lieu of patches, 'Unfortunately, for Adobe, disabling JavaScript is a broken record, [and] similar to what we've seen in the past with Microsoft on ActiveX bugs.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_7aowAcPv6A/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 21:02:00 EDT from timothy

Subject: Scientists Build World's Fastest Camera

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Hugh Pickens writes "Researchers have developed a camera that snaps images less than a half a billionth of a second long and can capture over six million images in a second continuously. Dubbed Serial Time-Encoded Amplified imaging, or Steam, the technique depends on carefully manipulating so-called 'supercontinuum' laser pulses. While other cameras used in scientific research can capture shorter-lived images, they can only capture about eight images, and have to be triggered to do so for a given event. The Steam camera, by contrast, can capture images continuously, making it ideal for random events that cannot be triggered. Keisuke Gode, lead author of the study, and his colleagues used their camera to image minute spheres flowing along a thin tube of water in a microfluidic device." (More below.)

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http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/1Se1FJLG7lw/article.pl

[#] Wed Apr 29 2009 20:06:00 EDT from samzenpus

Subject: New Food-Growth Product a Bit Hairy

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MeatBag PussRocket writes "An article from Marketplace.org reports, 'A Florida company has developed an all-natural product that it says could revolutionize how food is grown in the US. It's called Smart Grow, but it might be a tough sell. It's inexpensive. It eliminates the need for pesticides, so it's environmentally friendly, but it's human hair. Plant pathologists at the University of Florida have found the mats eliminate weeds better than leading herbicides and can also make plants grow up to 30 percent larger.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.




http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/M4LCREy__HU/article.pl

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