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Privacy

TSA Tests Automated ID Authentication 190

Posted by timothy
from the thanks-bruce dept.
CowboyRobot writes "Last year, a Nigerian man boarded a plane from N.Y. to L.A. using an invalid ID and a boarding pass issued to another person. A week later he was caught again with 10 expired boarding passes. In response to this and similar events, the Transportation Security Administration has begun testing a new system at Washington's Dulles International Airport that verifies an air traveler's identity by matching photo IDs to boarding passes and ensures that boarding passes are authentic. The test will soon be expanded to Houston and Puerto Rico."
AI

The Artificial Life of the App Store 106

Posted by timothy
from the how-about-global-thermonuclear-war? dept.
mikejuk writes "How does the Apple App Store actually work? What is the best strategy to employ if you want to get some users and make some money? There are some pointers on how it all works from an unusual source — artificial life. A pair of researchers Soo Ling Lim and Peter Bentley from University College London, set up an artificial life simulation of the app store's ecosystem. They created app developers with strategies such as — innovate, copy other apps, create useless variations on a basic app or try and optimize the app you have. What they found, among other things, was that the CopyCat strategy was on average the best. When they allow the strategies to compete and developer agents to swap then the use of the CopyCat fell to only 10%. The reason — more than 10% CopyCats resulted in nothing new to copy!"
Classic Games (Games)

MIT Hack Turns the Green Building Into a Giant Game of Tetris 65

Posted by timothy
from the these-kids-never-go-to-class dept.
An anonymous reader writes "MIT hackers have turned the Green Building, the tallest building in Cambridge, into a giant, playable, full color game of Tetris. According to the IHTFP Hack Gallery, "MIT hackers have long considered 'Tetris on the Green Building' to be the Holy Grail of hacks.""
The Military

US Journalists Targeted By Pentagon Propaganda Contractors 232

Posted by timothy
from the hey-this-feels-creepy dept.
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "While conducting investigative reporting on civilian contractors in the Pentagon's "InfoOps" Internet propaganda operations, two reporters found themselves the subject of a highly targeted, professional media manipulation effort. Reporter Tom Vanden Brook and Editor Ray Locker found that Twitter and Facebook accounts have been created in their names, along with a Wikipedia entry and dozens of message board postings and blog comments. Websites were registered in their names. Some postings merely copied Vanden Brook's and Locker's previous reporting. Others accused them of being sponsored by the Taliban. 'I find it creepy and cowardly that somebody would hide behind my name and presumably make up other names in an attempt to undermine my credibility,' Vanden Brook said. If these websites were created using federal funds, it could violate federal law prohibiting the production of propaganda for domestic consumption."
Privacy

Anonymous, People's Liberation Front Build Anonymous Data-Sharing Site 137

Posted by timothy
from the for-all-your-library-science-needs dept.
suraj.sun writes with these snippets from an article at Ars Technica: "Hacker group Anonymous and the People's Liberation Front have created a data-sharing site called AnonPaste.tk, meant to host pastes of code and other messages without any moderation or censorship of the information posted. The new site, which uses a free .tk web address, allows users to set a time for the paste to expire. It claims that data is encrypted and decrypted in the browser using 256 bit AES, so the server doesn't see any of the information included in the paste.The site says it's taking donations in the form of WePay or BitCoins. ... AnonPaste is built using open-source software called ZeroBin, created by French developer Sebastien Sauvage. According to Infoweek Sauvage has experience in creating online authentication systems for French banks, suggesting the creator knows a thing or two about encryption of data. Still, on the software's information page, Sauvage reminds potential users that ZeroBin software can not protect against potential Javascript attacks. 'Users still have to trust the server regarding the respect of their privacy,' he says. 'ZeroBin won't protect the users against malicious servers.'"
Software

Open Source Project Licenses Trending Toward Open Rather than Free 369

Posted by timothy
from the for-some-values-of-open-or-free dept.
bonch writes "An analysis of software licenses shows usage of GPL and other copyleft licenses declining at an accelerating rate. In their place, developers are choosing permissive licenses such as BSD, MIT, and ASL. One theory for the decline is that GPL usage was primarily driven by vendor-led projects, and with the shift to community-led projects, permissive licenses are becoming more common."
Earth

Eating Meat Helped Early Humans Reproduce 487

Posted by timothy
from the dinner-and-a-movie dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes "If early humans had been vegans we might all still be living in caves, Swedish researchers suggested in an article Thursday. When a mother eats meat, her breast-fed child's brain grows faster and she is able to wean the child at an earlier age, allowing her to have more children faster, the article explains. 'Eating meat enabled the breast-feeding periods and thereby the time between births to be shortened,' said psychologist Elia Psouni of Lund University in Sweden. 'This must have had a crucial impact on human evolution.' She notes, however, that the results say nothing about what humans today should or should not eat."
Crime

US Charges English Twins Over $1.2m 'Stock Robot' Fraud 114

Posted by timothy
from the not-all-english-twins-of-course dept.
peetm writes "Twin brothers from England face U.S. civil charges for allegedly defrauding investors out of $1.2m (£745,000) through a bogus stock-picking robot. The twins, Alexander and Thomas Hunter, were just 16 years old when they devised the scam — which fooled around 75,000 people, according to U.S. officials."
Earth

Beneath Africa, Survey Finds 'Huge' Water Reserves 292

Posted by timothy
from the first-the-moon-now-this dept.
gambit3 writes with this news, carried by the BBC: "Scientists say the notoriously dry continent of Africa is sitting on a vast reservoir of groundwater. They argue that the total volume of water in aquifers underground is 100 times the amount found on the surface. Across Africa more than 300 million people are said not to have access to safe drinking water. Freshwater rivers and lakes are subject to seasonal floods and droughts that can limit their availability for people and for agriculture. At present only 5% of arable land is irrigated."
Movies

Elephants Dream Director Readies Blender-Animated Tube 40

Posted by timothy
from the moving-pictures dept.
TheSilentNumber writes "Bassam Kurdali's free culture 3D animation, Tube, is nearing the final stages of production. Tube is a collaborative effort between 56 artists from 22 countries — some of which are at war. After directing the first of the Blender Institute's 'Open Movie Projects,' Elephants Dream, Bassam wanted to prove the viability of free cultural works and usability of free software like Blender and PiTiVi for independent filmmakers. Just a few days after launching a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the project, the goal has been met, which means we should see the final release in seven months!"
Google

Billionaires and Polymaths Expected To Unveil a Plan To Mine Asteroids 531

Posted by timothy
from the why-couldn't-it-be-undersea? dept.
dumuzi writes "A team including Larry Page, Ram Shriram and Eric Schmidt of Google, director James Cameron, Charles Simonyi (Microsoft executive and astronaut), Ross Perot Jr. (son of Ross Perot), Chris Lewicki (NASA Mars mission manager), and Peter Diamandis (X-Prize) have formed a new company called Planetary Resources, and are expected to announce plans on April 24th to mine asteroids. A study by NASA released April 2nd claims a robotic mission could capture a 500 ton asteroid and bring it to orbit the moon for $2.6 billion. The additional cost to mine the asteroid and return the ores to Earth would make profit unlikely even if the asteriod was 20% gold."
Earth

Newspapers Pollute Less On E-Readers and Tablets 113

Posted by timothy
from the which-stats-win dept.
bobwyman writes "It seems counter-intuitive but a RAND full lifecycle analysis (PDF) shows that reading news electronically produces fewer GHG emissions than reading news on paper: 'Adopting e-readers could reduce GHG emissions from publishing and distributing newspapers by 74 percent; using tablet computers could result in a 63 percent reduction, assuming that all the GHG emissions associated with producing and operating e-readers or tablet computers are ascribed to reading newspapers. If a more realistic assumption is adopted, that the emissions associated with these devices should be spread across other activities pursued on these devices, the difference would be on the order of 84 to 89 percent less, respectively.'"
The Internet

Google Shutting Out Rivals, Claims Russian Search Engine Yandex 170

Posted by timothy
from the red-in-tooth-and-claw dept.
suraj.sun writes "Ilya Segalovich, co-founder of Russia's leading search engine, Yandex, has accused Google of abusing its dominance to shut out competitors in cyberspace. Responding to comments made to the Guardian by Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder, about threats to the open internet, Ilya Segalovich described the U.S. search giant's popular smartphone platform, Android, as a 'strange combination of openness and not openness,' and its Chrome web browser as anti-competitive. Segalovich said that Brin should explain Google's 'semi-open' approach to search competitors before accusing others of endangering the unfettered internet, and suggested Google was guilty of foul play with its Chrome browser, which picks the company's own search engine as default for users, rather than offering a choice between rivals including Yahoo, Bing and Yandex."
Communications

Ask Slashdot: How Can I Get Through To a Politician By E-mail? 204

Posted by timothy
from the breaking-through-the-sea-of-spam dept.
wytcld writes "Sending an individually-written e-mail to my state senator resulted in an automated response saying that since she receives hundreds of e-mails a day, there might be no personal response, but please don't take that to mean she hasn't read my e-mail. So I contacted her again suggesting that was a pretty poor answer. Most of the e-mails she receives are mass mailings coordinated by various interest group websites. Why doesn't she put those to the side, I asked, and prioritize response to individual e-mails from constituents who've taken the time to actually write? Her response? She often can't tell the difference at first, so spends time drafting responses to the first instances of group e-mail spam, and gets diverted from responding to those who really write her. Are there tools out there which a politician can use to identify the incoming group-think blasts and put them to to side? It's easy enough to imagine sorting by repeated content or headers, if I ran the mail server, but I'm looking for packages already out there that a state-level representative, with no staff to speak of, might use to cut through the mess and prioritize communication with constituents who care enough about an issue to draft their own thoughts."
The Courts

US Judge Say Kim Dotcom May Never Be Tried or Extradited 345

Posted by timothy
from the but-thanks-for-playing dept.
vik writes "As Megaupload's Kim Dotcom's megafarce trial continues, the New Zealand Herald reports that his alleged offense not only falls below the threshold for extradition, but also that the warrant may not be properly served. 'My understanding as to why they haven't done that is because they can't. We don't believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States,' says Megaupload's lawyer Ira Rothken. Not surprisingly, Kim Dotcom has a few choice words to say about having his business trashed this way, with 220 jobs lost, and millions left without access to their legitimate data."

C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas l'Informatique. -- Bosquet [on seeing the IBM 4341]

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