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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Censorship

UK MPs Threaten New Laws If Google Won't Censor Search 154

Posted by timothy
from the bittorrent-in-congress-means-us-is-next dept.
It's not just Japan that wants to regulate how Google displays search results: judgecorp writes "A committee of British MPs and peers has asked Google to censor search results to protect privacy and threatened to put forward new laws that would force it to do so, if Google fails to comply. The case relates to events such as former Formula One boss Max Mosley's legal bid to prevent Google linking to illegally obtained images of himself."
Music

Kim Dotcom Alleges Studios Wanted to Work With Megaupload 139

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the sociopaths-versus-sociopaths dept.
Fluffeh writes "In a recent story that is beating around the nets, Kim Dotcom has fired back at studios with emails that make for some interesting reading: 'A Disney executive e-mailed Megaupload in 2008. He said he was interested in having Megaupload host Disney content, but said he would need Megaupload to tweak its terms of service to make it clear Disney retained ownership of files uploaded to the site. He sent Megaupload a proposed alternative to the standard Megaupload TOS. Fox emailed "Please let me know if you have some time to chat this week about how we can work together to better monetize your inventory," in an attempt to promote their newly launched ad network. And finally, this gem: a Warner Brothers executive e-mailed Megaupload seeking to expedite the process of uploading Warner content to Megaupload. "I would like to know if your site can take a Media RSS feed for our syndications," he wrote. "We would like to upload our content all at once instead of one video at a time."' Pot calling the kettle black anyone?" Torrentfreak is running the full interview with Kim Dotcom.
Books

Book Review: HTML5 Developer's Cookbook 42

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
stoolpigeon writes "HTML5 is the latest version of HTML. In fact, it is still under development — but HTML5 brings so many highly-desired capabilities that browsers have begun to implement it and many projects already take advantage of it. Often an HTML5 project employs more technology than just HTML, and the label has come to include the use of CSS3 and JavaScript as well. There are a number of resources out there to help one use HTML5 and recently I've been using the HTML5 Developer's Cookbook by Chuck Hudson and Tom Leadbetter." Read on for the rest of stoolpigeon's review.
Medicine

MIT Prof Predicts the End of Disabilities In Next 50 Years 190

Posted by samzenpus
from the gentlemen-we-can-rebuild-him dept.
judgecorp writes "MIT professor Hugh Herr describes how technology can end disability in 50 years — with a big incentive from the need to support injured war veterans. A champion climber, Herr lost both legs below the knee, returned to climbing and designed improved climbing prostheses. From the article: 'Herr believes the work he is doing won’t just have humanitarian benefits. There’s money to be made too. And if there’s a market here, it means more people will receive help. Despite all the horrors and injustices the Iraq and Afghanistan wars spawned, they have helped make the biomechatronics industry a lot more viable. Back in 2007, Herr gave Garth Stewart, a 24-year-old Army veteran who lost his left leg below the knee during the conflict in Iraq, a bionic ankle. It used tendon-like springs and an electric motor to provide support for Stewart.'"
Android

Judge Orders Oracle and Google To Talk, Again 89

Posted by timothy
from the when-all-they-want-is-a-restraining-order dept.
Reader Fluffeh snips from and links to Ars Technica with the latest chapter in the ongoing Google vs. Oracle fight involving patents, Java, and Android, writing that executives at both companies were "'ordered to hold one last round of settlement talks no later than April 9th, with the trial over Google's alleged use of Java technology in Android set to begin April 16,' though '[t]he last-ditch effort to avoid a trial seems unlikely to succeed. ... Oracle initially accused Google of violating seven patents, but has since dropped most of them. This is due to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruling the patents described technology that was not patentable. Two patents assigned to the Oracle-owned Sun Microsystems remain: #6,061,520 which covers "an improvement over conventional systems for initializing static arrays by reducing the amount of code executed by the virtual machine to statically initialize an array," and #RE38,104 which covers a type of compiler and interpreter."
Transportation

Maybe the FAA Gadget Ban On Liftoff and Landing Isn't So Bad 414

Posted by timothy
from the you-have-your-opinion-I-have-mine dept.
First time accepted submitter oyenamit writes "Ars Technica reported a while back that FAA is going to reconsider the ban on use of electronic gadgets during take-off and landing. If this ban is revoked, you will be free to use your gizmos for an additional 30 minutes or so. Peter Bright has an interesting take on why lifting of the ban may not be such a good idea."
IOS

What's Not To Like About New iPad? 617

Posted by timothy
from the let-him-count-the-ways dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "With 3 million sold over the last week what's not to like about the new iPad? Michelle Maltais at the LA Times does a good job of putting together a compendium of gripes about the new device, justified or otherwise. Most people thought that Siri on the new iPad was a gimme; instead it has a scaled back version — dictation. 'If you want Siri, buy an iPhone. Plain and simple.' The new iPad is a little heavier than the iPad 2, thanks to the better graphics processor and more powerful battery. At one-tenth of a pound heavier that really doesn't sound like much, but it can start to matter if you hold your iPad in one hand for long periods or have any kind of repetitive stress injury. Apps designed for Retina display can be up to five times bigger and it's not just a problem for owners of the new iPad. Legacy owners of the original and iPad 2 who have these apps get to feel the pain too, since updates aren't device specific." The list continues, below.
Mars

Amateur Astronomer Spots Strange Cloud Formations On Mars 62

Posted by timothy
from the he-loves-it dept.
techfun89 writes "Mars has returned to our evening skies as it does every two years. This time it is getting even more attention and buzz than it normally would. Amateur astronomer Wayne Jaeschke of West Chester Pennsylvania noticed an unusual protrusion in the planet's southern hemisphere, preceding the sunrise terminator. Several things may have contributed to this strange 'cloud formation.' One possibility is a meteoric impact event, where dust was spewed up into the atmosphere. Another could be a major dust storm, which are typical on Mars. Of course, it could be something more mundane; that these observations were caused by a mere optical illusion via a type of glint that occurred due to having just the right combination of lighting and atmospheric conditions. Some suggest volcanic activity, though this is unlikely given it has been 20 to 200 million years since lava has flowed on Mars."
ISS

Space Junk Forced Astronauts Into ISS Escape Capsules 87

Posted by timothy
from the april-fools! dept.
According to a story from CNN, "A piece of a debris from a Russian Cosmos satellite passed close enough to the International Space Station on Saturday that its crew was ordered into escape capsules as a precaution, NASA said. The six crew members were told to take shelter late Friday in their Soyuz capsules after it was determined there was a small possibility the debris could hit the station, the U.S. space agency said in a statement." This isn't the first time it's happened, either. The escape capsules (actually, they're Soyuz spacecraft) must be nice to have on hand, but I'd hate to have to test their efficacy.
Facebook

Facebook Asserts Trademark On "Book" In New User Agreement 197

Posted by timothy
from the throw-the-face-at-them dept.
jbrodkin writes "Facebook is trying to expand its trademark rights over the word 'book' by adding the claim to a newly revised version of its 'Statement of Rights and Responsibilities,' the agreement all users implicitly consent to by using or accessing Facebook. The company has registered trademarks over its name and many variations of it, but not on the word 'book.' By inserting the trademark claim into the Facebook user agreement, the company hopes to bolster its standing in lawsuits against sites that incorporate the word 'book.'"
Censorship

French President Proposes Jail For Terrorist Website Visitors 402

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-it-quacks-like-a-terrorist dept.
howardd21 writes "French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is only a month away from an election, argued that it is time to treat those who browse extremist websites the same way as those who consume child pornography. 'Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison,' he told a campaign rally in Strasbourg, in eastern France. 'Don't tell me it's not possible. What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too.' Is this a good move for security, or just another step towards a totalitarian society that prohibits free expression?"
Graphics

Nvidia's Fermi Architecture Debuts; Nouveau Driver Already Working 70

Posted by timothy
from the those-ndas-must-have-really-hurt-your-backs dept.
crookedvulture writes Nvidia has lifted the curtain on reviews of its latest GPU architecture, which will be available first in the high-end GeForce GTX 680 graphics card. The underlying GK104 processor is much smaller than the equivalent AMD GPU, with fewer transistors, a narrower path to memory, and greatly simplified control logic that relies more heavily on Nvidia's compiler software. Despite the modest chip, Nvidia's new architecture is efficient enough that The Tech Report, PC Perspective, and AnandTech all found the GeForce GTX 680's gaming performance to be largely comparable to AMD's fastest Radeon, which costs $50 more. The GTX 680 also offers other notable perks, like a PCI Express 3.0 interface, dynamic clock scaling, new video encoding tech, and a smarter vsync mechanism. It's rather power-efficient, too, but the decision to focus on graphics workloads means the chip won't be as good a fit for Nvidia's compute-centric Tesla products. A bigger GPU based on the Kepler architecture is expected to serve that market." Read on below for good news (at least if you prefer Free software) from an anonymous reader. Update: 03/22 19:35 GMT by T : Mea culpa -- that headline should say "Kepler," rather than Fermi; HT to Dave from Hot Hardware (here's HH's take on the new GPU).
Privacy

Verizon Says Hactivists Now Biggest Corporate Net Threat 150

Posted by timothy
from the is-that-hat-dark-grey-or-light-grey? dept.
alphadogg writes "Hactivists — not cybercriminals — were responsible for the majority of personal data stolen from corporate and government networks during 2011, according to a new report from Verizon. The Verizon 2012 Data Breach Investigation Report found that 58% of data stolen in 2011 was the result of hactivism, which involves computer break-ins for political rather than commercial gain. In previous years, most hacking was carried out by criminals, Verizon said. Altogether, Verizon examined 855 cybersecurity incidents worldwide that involved 174 million compromised records. This is the largest data set that Verizon has ever examined, thanks to its cooperation with law enforcement groups including the U.S. Secret Service, the Dutch National High Tech Crime Unit and police forces from Australia, Ireland and London."
Idle

The Sounds of Tech Past 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-love-the-sound-of-a-mimeograph-in-the-morning dept.
itwbennett writes "If you're of a certain generation, the screech of a modem, the stuttering song of the dot matrix printer, and the wet slap of a mimeograph machine can transport you to simpler (or at least slower) times. JR Raphael has rounded up 20 tech sounds on the brink of extinction for your listening torture. We're only sorry we don't have smell-o-vision to bring you that sweet mimeograph scent."
The Almighty Buck

Surviving the Cashless Cataclysm 463

Posted by samzenpus
from the life-on-a-card dept.
MrSeb writes "There's been a lot of noise about Sweden becoming a cashless economy, and the potential repercussions that it might cause, most notably the (apparent) annihilation of privacy. Really, though, I think this is a load of hot air. Physical money might be on the way out, but that doesn't mean the end of anonymous, untraceable cash — it'll just become digital. If Bitcoin has taught us anything, it's possible to create an irreversible, cryptographic currency — but so far it has failed because it doesn't have sovereign backing. What if the US or UK (or any other country for that matter) issued digital cash? We would suddenly have an anonymous currency that can be kept on credit chips (or smartphones) and traded, just like paper money. No longer would handling money require expensive cash registers, safes, and secure collections; your smartphone could be your point of sale. It won't be easy to get governments to pass digital cash into law, though, not with big banks and megacorps lobbying for centralized, electronic, traceable currency. Here's hoping Sweden makes the right choice when the referendum to retire physical money finally rolls around."

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