MojoKid writes "When it comes to Star Wars, the gaming industry has a long history of cranking out titles of uncertain quality. For every brilliant title like Knights of the Old Republic, we've seen several clunkers and a few outright failures like Republic Heroes. LucasArts demonstrated a new Star Wars game at E3 this week, Star Wars: 1313 and despite the brand's uneven history, folks are cautiously optimistic. The 1313 moniker refers to a specific level of Coruscant which is a haven for criminals, bounty hunters, and crime lords. You take on the role of a bounty hunter looking for information on an unspecified criminal conspiracy who descends to 1313 in search of data. This will likely be the first Star Wars game to be rated 'M' for mature, and it focuses on the seedy underbelly of the universe."
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1sockchuck writes "Netflix has launched its own content delivery network to manage data delivery for its streaming video service. ISPs can choose to host caching appliances in their data centers, or peer with Netflix at Internet Exchanges. 'Netflix will provide either form of access at no cost to the ISP,' it said. As part of Open Connect, Netflix is sharing its hardware appliance design and the open source software components of the server. Does this mean Armageddon for the CDNs currently serving Akamai? Not really, according to analysts, citing the leverage Netflix had in dealing with providers."
Hugh Pickens writes "A scenic mountain village in Austria called Hallstatt has been copied, down to the statues, by a Chinese developer. Residents of the original Hallstatt attended Saturday's opening in China for the high-end residential project, but were still miffed about how the company did it. 'They should have asked the owners of the hotel and the other buildings if we agree with the idea to rebuild Hallstatt in China, and they did not,' says hotel owner Monika Wenger. People in Hallstatt first learned a year ago of the plan when a Chinese guest at Wenger's hotel who was involved with the project inadvertently spilled the beans. Minmetals staff had been taking photos and gathering data while mingling with tourists, raising suspicions among villagers. The original village is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a $940 million housing estate that thrives on China's new rich. In a country famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard. 'The moment I stepped into here, I felt I was in Europe,' says 22-year-old Zhu Bin, a Huizhou resident. 'The security guards wear nice costumes. All the houses are built in European style.' This isn't the first time a Chinese firm has used a European place as inspiration. The Chinese city of Anting, some 30 kilometers from Shanghai, created a district designed to accommodate 20,000 residents called 'German Town Anting' and in 2005 Chengdu British Town was modeled on the English town of Dorchester."
cheezitmike writes "In a two-part series, the American Academy for the Advancement of Science examines two hot-button topics that create clashes in the classroom between science teachers and conservative-leaning students, parents, school boards, and state legislatures. Part 1 looks at the struggle of teachers to cover evolution in the face of religious push-back from students and legislatures. Part 2 deals with teaching climate change, and how teachers increasingly have to deal with political pressure from those who insist that there must be two sides to the discussion."
itwbennett writes "Startup Donuts has set its sights on being a domain-name registry. With $100 million in venture capital in its pocket, Donuts has applied for 307 of the most generic of generic top-level domains. The new domains will be targeted toward specific services, said Jon Nevett, a cofounder and vice president of corporate affairs at Donuts. For example, the .tickets domain would be where Web users could expect to go to buy event tickets. 'There will be more names geared toward what consumers are looking for,' Nevett said."
Trailrunner7 writes "Google, whose users have been frequent targets of suspected attacks by foreign governments, is deploying a new warning system for users who may be victims of those kinds of attacks. The new system is in addition to existing warnings that Google will show Gmail users when their accounts may have been accessed by attackers. Gmail users have been on the receiving end of a number of known attacks, including the infamous Google Aurora attack that has been blamed on China. Part of that operation was aimed at a specific subset of Gmail users, including Chinese dissidents and journalists. Now, Google says it will warn users about exactly that kind of activity."
Dangerous_Minds writes "Last month, ACTA was rejected by three European committees (the industry committee, the civil liberties committee, and the legal affairs committee). Now, a fourth European committee, the Development Committee, has voted to reject ACTA as well, making it zero for four. ZeroPaid is offering a quick timeline of the series of blows to ACTA all last month as well. The next stop for ACTA will be the Trade Committee which is scheduled to hand down a decision later this month on June 21. From there, it'll head to the full House for a vote in July."
sciencehabit writes "Two mysterious bright spots in a disheveled, distant galaxy suggest that astronomers have found the best evidence yet for a supermassive black hole being shoved out of its home. If confirmed, the finding would verify Einstein's theory of general relativity in a region of intense gravity not previously tested. The results would also suggest that some giant black holes roam the universe as invisible free floaters, flung from the galaxies in which they coalesced. Although loner black holes may be an entity that has to be reckoned with, they would still be rare."
davidwr writes "What are a reasonable temporary-worker or immigration-visa rules to apply to workers whose skills would quickly net them a 'top 20th percentile wages' job (about $100,000) in the American workplace, if they were allowed to work in the country? Should the visa length be time-limited? Should it provide for a path to permanent residency? Should the number be limited, and if so, how should we decide what the limit should be? The people affected are already likely eligible for special work-permit programs, but these programs may have quotas, time limits, prior-job-offer-requirements, and other restrictions. I'm asking what Slashdotters think the limits and restrictions, if any, should be. (Let's assume any policy to keep out criminals and spies remains as-is.)"
the_newsbeagle writes "This article discusses a proposal to create cash that can't be counterfeited by embedding quantum particles in banknotes. A counterfeiter trying to copy a real bill would have to precisely measure all the attributes of the embedded quantum particles — which is impossible under the tricky laws of quantum mechanics (PDF). MIT computer scientist Scott Aaronson, who famously offered a prize for anyone who could prove quantum computers are impossible, said, 'This is science fiction, but it’s science fiction that doesn’t violate any of the known laws of physics.'"
An anonymous reader writes "MAKE Magazine founder Dale Dougherty has an article in Slate about how educators are missing the punchline when it comes to getting kids interested in learning. He describes a recent visit he made to a middle school: 'The science lab was empty, as were the library and the playground. It was not a school holiday: It was a state-mandated STAR testing day. The school was in an academic lockdown. This is what the American public school looks like in 2012, driven by obsessive adherence to standardized testing. The fate of children, their schools, and their teachers are based on these school test scores.' Dougherty's preference would be to more tightly integrate basic engineering projects into the science curriculum. 'I see the power of engaging kids in science and technology through the practices of making and hands-on experiences, through tinkering and taking things apart. Schools seem to have forgotten that students learn best when they are engaged; in fact, the biggest problem in schools is boredom. Students sit passively, expected to absorb all the content that is thrown at them without much context. The context that's missing is the real world."
RWarrior(fobw) writes "PJ reports at Groklaw that Oracle has sued well-known patent troll Lodsys, asking for declaratory judgement in the Eastern District of Texas that Oracle and its customers don't need Lodsys licenses, and that Lodsys patents are invalid anyway. 'It seems that Lodsys has been going after Oracle customers, and they in turn have been asking Oracle to indemnify them. Lodsys, methinks, has made a mistake. One doesn't go after Oracle's money. No. No. Never a good plan. I suspect Oracle will go for damages, tripled, and all their expenses, legal fees, etc. when this is over.' PJ also points out that which companies are the good guys and which are the bad guys depends on which case you're looking at. "
MrSeb writes "Mozilla has officially released Firefox 13. Unlike Firefox 12 (or 11, or 10, or indeed many of the recent Firefox versions), Firefox 13 is an important release with a handful of much-needed features that are long overdue. There's a new New Tab Page launcher, with your favorite and most-used websites, and a new default home page with one-click access to Bookmarks, Settings, Add-ons, etc. SPDY is on by default, too, which should help ameliorate the perceived speed difference between Chrome and Firefox. Finally, the developer tools (Page Inspector, Style Inspector, etc.) have been tweaked and updated!"
wiredmikey writes "As more research unfolds about the recently discovered Flame malware, researchers have found three modules – named Snack, Gadget and Munch – that are used to launch what is essentially a man-in-the-middle attack against other computers on a network. As a result, Kaspersky researchers say when a machine attempts to connect to Microsoft's Windows Update, it redirects the connection through an infected machine and it sends a fake malicious Windows Update to the client. That is courtesy of a rogue Microsoft certificate that chains to the Microsoft Root Authority and improperly allows code signing. According to Symantec, the Snack module sniffs NetBIOS requests on the local network. NetBIOS name resolution allows computers to find each other on a local network via peer-to-peer, opening up an avenue for spoofing. The findings have prompted Microsoft to say that it plans to harden Windows Update against attacks in the future, though the company did not immediately reveal details as to how." And an anonymous reader adds a note that Flame's infrastructure is massive: "over 80 different C&C domains, pointed to over 18 IP addresses located in Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Poland, the UK, and other countries."
snydeq writes "The NYTimes reports on the San Francisco's shifting socio-economic landscape thanks to a massive influx of tech workers and tax and regulation breaks to big-name startups. 'In a city often regarded as unfriendly to business, Mayor Edwin M. Lee, elected last year with the tech industry's strong backing, has aggressively courted start-ups. But this boom has also raised fears about the tech industry's growing political clout and its spillover economic effects. Apartment rents have soared to record highs as affordable housing advocates warn that a new wave of gentrification will price middle-class residents out of the city. At risk, many say, are the very qualities that have drawn generations of outsiders here, like the city's diversity and creativity. Families, black residents, artists and others will increasingly be forced across the bridge to Oakland, they warn.'"