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

Facebook

Facebook Countersues Yahoo Over 10 Patents 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the hoist-with-your-own-petard dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As expected, Facebook today filed its own patent infringement lawsuit against Yahoo. The social networking giant is claiming the online giant infringes on 10 of its patents. This is a countersuit and will likely lead to some sort of settlement between the two parties. Facebook says Yahoo is infringing on a wide range of its services, including its homepage, content optimization, relevance engine, Flickr photo-sharing service, and advertising throughout the service. Two months ago, Yahoo threatened Facebook with patent war. Last month, the online giant sued the social networking giant over 10 patents and the technology industry made sure to criticize Yahoo like never before."
NASA

NASA's Kepler Mission Extended For Two Years 58

Posted by samzenpus
from the keep-it-going dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A report just released from NASA's senior review panel recommends extending the Kepler mission(Pdf), initially for two years. 'Kepler is not only a unique source of exoplanet discoveries, but also an organizing and rallying point for exo-planet research. It has enabled remarkable stellar science." The scaled-down budget for the extended mission was broadly expected to include funding only for continued operations and management, with no funding for science. Astronomers have already started seeking private funding to continue their Kepler-related work, through crowd-funding websites like PetriDish and FundaGeek, as well as through the non-profit Pale Blue Dot project."
Businesses

Healthcare Reform Act Prediction Market 185

Posted by samzenpus
from the spin-the-wheel-and-get-a-heal dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Wisconsin School of Business is running a prediction market study on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the Healthcare Reform Act. By participating you will not only be helping university students, you will also get to express your opinion and compete with others to show that you have the most accurate prediction."
Education

Do Tablets Help Children Learn? 223

Posted by samzenpus
from the google-it dept.
hypnosec writes "With the wide array of electronic devices available in our everyday lives, it appears that children have formed an attachment to a different kind of toy. According to the latest survey, 77 per cent of polled US, UK parents believe that iPads and other tablets are good educational tools that boost kids' creativity. Meanwhile, researchers in this field explain that it is a matter of balance — and a child's access to tablets and other similar electronic devices should be monitored. Specialists warn that using tablets in excess could cause attention deficit disorder and even autism, particularly at a very young age."
Security

FTC Fines RockYou $250,000 For Storing User Data In Plain Text 127

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
An anonymous reader writes "You probably don't remember the RockYou fiasco as it happened in late 2009. In case you don't, social game developer RockYou suffered a serious SQL injection flaw on its flagship website. Worse, the company was storing user details in plain text. As a result, tens of millions of login details, including those belonging to minors, were stolen and published online. Now, RockYou has finally settled with the Federal Trade Commission."
Cloud

Citrix Moves Away From OpenStack For Apache 29

Posted by samzenpus
from the so-long-farewell-aufwiedersehn-goodbye dept.
netbuzz writes "Citrix today announced that it is turning its development attention away from the OpenStack project, started two years ago by NASA and Rackspace, in favor of its own CloudStack platform, Apache and Amazon Web Services. 'Based on challenges of the technical maturity and where we are with CloudStack, (OpenStack) became a path not viable,' says a Citrix executive. Industry analysts contend that the move says more about Citrix and its needs than it does OpenStack and its future."
Censorship

Smearing Toddler Reputations Via Internet: Free Speech Or Extortion? 213

Posted by samzenpus
from the class-act dept.
retroworks writes "Crystal Cox, a Montana woman who calls herself an 'investigative journalist,' was slapped with a $2.5-million judgment last year for defaming an investment firm and one of its lead partners. Cox had taken control of the Google footprint of Obsidian Finance and its principal Kevin Padrick by writing hundreds of posts about them on dozens of websites she owned, inter-linking them in ways that made them rise up in Google search results; it ruined Obsidian's business due to prospective clients being put off by the firm's seemingly terrible online reputation. After Obsidian sued Cox, she contacted them offering her 'reputation services;' for $2,500 a month, she could 'fix' the firm's reputation and help promote its business. The Forbes Article goes on to describe how she tried to similarly leverage attorneys and journalists reputations. Finding some of her targets were too well established in google rank to pester or intimidate, Cox moved to family members, reserving domain names for one of her target's 3-year-old daughter. Forbes columnist Kashmir Hill makes the case that this clearly isn't journalism, and establishes a boundary for free speech online."
Robotics

TSA Shuts Down Airport, Detains 11 After "Science Project" Found 537

Posted by samzenpus
from the put-down-the-graduated-cylinder dept.
OverTheGeicoE writes "A group of students and a professor were detained by TSA at Dallas' Love Field. Several of them were led away in handcuffs. What did they do wrong? One of them left a robotic science experiment behind on an aircraft, which panicked a boarding flight crew. The experiment 'looked like a cell phone attached to a remote control car with some exposed wires protruding.' Of course, the false alarm inconvenienced more than the traveling academics. The airport was temporarily shut down and multiple gates were evacuated, causing flight delays and diversions."
Education

Tensions Between Archivists and 'Occupy' Protesters Over Preserving the Movement 153

Posted by samzenpus
from the high-water-mark dept.
An anonymous reader writes "At one point an NYU librarian literally got into a shouting match with a protester at an Occupy protest, trying to make the case for why a digital record should be kept of photos, videos, audio recordings, posters, and other materials, so future scholars and activists can recount what happened. Academics are taking unusual steps to preserve the protesters' stuff, including 'distributing postcards promoting archiving at protests, developing automated systems to download photos posted online, and asking participants to vote on which images are most important for the historic record.'"
Microsoft

Microsoft Counted As Key Linux Contributor 305

Posted by samzenpus
from the strange-bedfellows dept.
alphadogg writes "For the first time ever, Microsoft can be counted as a key contributor to Linux. The company, which once portrayed the open-source OS kernel as a form of cancer, has been ranked 17th on a tally of the largest code contributors to Linux. The Linux Foundation's Linux Development Report, released Tuesday, summarizes who has contributed to the Linux kernel, from versions 2.6.36 to 3.2. The 10 largest contributors listed in the report are familiar names: Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia, Samsung, Oracle and Google. But the appearance of Microsoft is a new one for the list, compiled annually."
GUI

Qt 5 Alpha Released 117

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the trolls-with-advanced-technology dept.
After nine months of effort, Nokia's Qt Lab has announced the availability of the alpha release of Qt 5. Goals achieved for this release include a new platform abstraction layer, a re-architected graphics stack, and the inclusion of Qt Quick as a first-class citizen (hitting version 2.0, and using Google's V8 Javascript engine to boot). Quoting Lars Knoll: "'Qt 5 should be the foundation for a new way of developing applications. While offering all of the power of native Qt using C++, the focus should shift to a model, where C++ is mainly used to implement modular backend functionality for Qt Quick.' I can say that we came a good way closer to this vision with Qt 5.0. The model is working nicely on the embedded side of Qt where UIs are full screen. On the desktop, we have laid most of the foundations required for this model, but it’ll take us until 5.1 or 5.2 to really take this into use." Nokia has posted the the source and detailed release notes on the Qt wiki.
Android

Instagram Debuts On Android 84

Posted by samzenpus
from the spread-the-love dept.
redletterdave writes "Popular photo-sharing app Instagram, which has been one of the most popular social start-ups despite only being housed on a single platform (iOS), was finally released onto the Android ecosystem on Tuesday. The app, which boasts more than 10 million users and plenty of ways to stylize and share photos, is available as a free download from Google Play."
Communications

Competition To Identify Sexual Predators In Chat Logs 273

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-see-what-you-wrote-there dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers from the University of Lugano, Switzerland, and other universities from the U.S. and Europe organize a competition to automatically identify sexual predators in chat logs. The task is described as: 'The goal of this sub-task is to identify classes of authors, namely online predators. You will be given chat logs involving two (or more) people and have to determine who is the one trying to convince the other participants(s) to provide some sexual favor. You will also need to identify the particular conversation where the person exploits his bad behavior.' Their data set covers hundreds of chat logs with dozens of true positives (i.e., chats where one is trying to hit on another)."
Government

The Politics of the F.D.A. 238

Posted by samzenpus
from the can't-we-all-just-get-along? dept.
A fight over posting calorie counts for popcorn is just one example of the clash between the White House and the agency charged with protecting public health. Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, the F.D.A. commissioner, was forced to scrap plans to have calorie counts posted for foods served in movie theaters and on airplanes after a phone call from the White House deputy chief of staff in 2010. From the article: "White House officials describe their disagreements with the F.D.A. as part of the normal, constructive give-and-take over policy that has never undermined the agency’s mission. 'Under President Obama’s leadership, the Food and Drug Administration has new authority and resources to help stop kids from smoking, protect our food supply and approve more affordable prescription drugs,' said the White House press secretary, Jay Carney. The administration also views the agency’s hostility to its oversight as hopelessly naïve, given a 24-hour news cycle and a ferocious political environment that punishes any misstep. 'They want a world that doesn’t exist anymore,' an administration official said."
Businesses

Mitch Altman Parts Ways With Maker Fair Over DARPA Grant 169

Posted by samzenpus
from the greener-pastures dept.
SWroclawski writes "Well known hacker and hackerspace advocate Mitch Altman has decided to temporarily part ways with Maker Faire over their involvement with DARPA (as reported on Twitter and Facebook). This public parting of ways raises the question of what role government, especially the military, should play in working alongside hackers and educators."

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