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DEA Wants To Install License Plate Scanners and Retain Data for Two Years 295

An anonymous reader writes with news that might make privacy advocates a bit uneasy. From the article: "Everyone driving on Interstate 15 in southwest Utah may soon have their license plate scanned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA and two sheriffs are asking permission to install stationary license plate scanners on the freeway in Beaver and Washington counties. The primary purpose would be to catch or build cases against drug traffickers, but at a Utah Legislature committee meeting Wednesday, the sheriffs and a DEA representative described how the scanners also could be used to catch kidnappers and violent criminals. That, however, wasn't the concern of skeptical legislators on the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Interim Committee. They were worried about the DEA storing the data for two years and who would be able to access it."

BSA Claims Half of PC Users Are Pirates 585

judgecorp writes "Despite continued pressure on business users to buy legitimate software, the Business Software Alliance (BSA) reports that the campaign seems to be failing. Well over half (57%) of users surveyed in a global survey admit to using pirated software. That's a big increase from the same survey last year — when 43% admitted to using pirated software. The BSA surveyed 15,000 people in 33 countries."

Emacsy: An Embeddable Toolkit of Emacs-like Functionality 127

An anonymous reader writes "Emacsy is 'a Guile library that provides Emacs-like facilities — keymaps, minibuffer, tab completion, recordable macros, and major/minor modes — for applications natively.' However, to my eyes, it looks more like an attempt to revive the development style done on Symbolics Lisp Machines that survives to some extent in Emacs. Might be a boon to Emacs users, but where's a comparable VIM alternative?" The skeptic in me asks what benefit this would have over just using libguile directly, and how it fits in with efforts to port Emacs itself to Guile and things like Englightenment's pluggable event loop. The example code seems to imply Emacs-like APIs will be used (despite not intending to replace parts of Emacs), even when better alternatives exist. Some of the proposed components seem orthogonal to existing interface toolkits; others seem to compete with components provided by various Free desktop environments.

NRC Chairman Resigns 100

After years of accusations of creating a 'chilled work environment,' Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko resigned this morning (PDF). His largest achievement was perhaps killing the Yucca Mountain waste repository, and he oversaw the certification of the AP1000 reactor. It is unknown whether a new chairman will be appointed from within the NRC. Quoting the Washington Post: "The reason for his resignation is unclear. He is stepping down before the release of a second inspector general report rumored to be into allegations of Mr. Jaczko's misconduct. NRC spokesman Eliot Brenner told The Washington Times that the report had no impact on the timing of Mr. Jaczko's resignation announcement. Mr. Jaczko's statement was vague, saying that it 'is the appropriate time to continue my efforts to ensure public safety in a different forum. This is the right time to pass along the public safety torch to a new chairman...' While his statement did not specifically touch on the embarrassing revelations of his tyrannical approach to the job or its impact on NRC staff, he did sound a defiant note by claiming the NRC was 'one of the best places to work in the federal government throughout my tenure.'" Today also marks the start of the annual nuclear industry conference.

Foxconn Invests $210 Million To Build New Production Line For Apple 178

redletterdave writes "On Monday, Foxconn agreed to invest $210 million to help Apple build out a new production line for 'unspecified components.' The 40,000-square-meter plant plans to hire roughly 35,800 new employees to help assemble parts for either desktop and laptop computers, iPhones, iPads, iPods, or possibly even new products or devices. Apple projects the plant's annual output between $949 million to $1.1 billion, and also estimates the import and export value at roughly $55.8 million."

Poll I'd like my data center to be powered by ... 163

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Rutger's Student Dharun Ravi Sentenced To 30-Day Jail Time 683

parallel_prankster writes "New York Times reports that a judge in New Jersey has sentenced Dharun Ravi to 30 days in jail Monday for using a webcam to spy on his Rutgers University roommate having sex with a man, in a case that galvanized concern about suicide among gay teenagers but also prompted debate about the use of laws against hate crimes. The case drew wide attention because his roommate, Tyler Clementi, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge in September 2010, a few days after learning of the spying. A jury convicted Mr. Ravi in March of all 15 counts against him, which included invasion of privacy and bias intimidation. The relatively light sentence — he faced up to 10 years in prison — surprised many who were watching the hearing, as it came after the judge spent several minutes criticizing Mr. Ravi's behavior."

Mega-Uploads: The Cloud's Unspoken Hurdle 134

First time accepted submitter n7ytd writes "The Register has a piece today about overcoming one of the biggest challenges to migrating to cloud-based storage: how to get all that data onto the service provider's disks. With all of the enterprisey interweb solutions available, the oldest answer is still the right one: ship them your disks. Remember: 'Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes hurtling down the highway.'"

SCOTUS Refuses To Hear Tenenbaum Appeal 420

quantr writes "The Supreme Court has declined to hear Joel Tenenbaum's appeal. A jury in 2009 ordered Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., to pay $675,000 for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs. A federal judge called the penalty constitutionally excessive, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it at the request of the Recording Industry Association of America. Tenenbaum's attorney, Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, said he's disappointed the high court won't hear the case. But he said the 1st Circuit instructed a judge to consider reducing the award without deciding any constitutional challenge. Nesson said 'Tenenbaum is just entering the job market and can't pay the penalty.'"
United States

White House Petition For Open Access To Research 60

dstates writes "You paid for it, you should be able to read the results of publicly funded research. The National Institutes of Health have had a very successful open access mandate requiring that the results of federally funded biomedical research be published in open access journals. Now there is a White House petition to broaden this mandate. This is a jobs issue. Startups and midsize business need access to federally funded technology research. It is a health care issue, patients and community health providers need access, not a few scientists in well funded research institutes, and even wealthy institutions like Harvard are finding the prices of proprietary journals unsustainable."

Maryland Teen Wins World's Largest Science Fair 193

Velcroman1 writes "A Maryland student was awarded the top prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair on Friday for developing a urine and blood test that detects pancreatic cancer with 90 percent accuracy. Jack Andraka, 15, claimed the $75,000 prize for his test, which is roughly 28 times cheaper and faster, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests. Each year, approximately 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science fairs with the hope of winning."

Allowing the Mind To Wander Aids Creative Problem Solving 185

ananyo writes "From the Nature story: 'Scientists from Archimedes to Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein are said to have had flashes of inspiration while thinking about other things. But the mechanisms behind this psychological phenomenon have remained unclear. A study now suggests that simply taking a break does not bring on inspiration — rather, creativity is fostered by tasks that allow the mind to wander.' The researchers gave 145 students 2 minutes to list as many possible uses for an everyday object (the creative thinking task). Participants then either rested, undertook a demanding memory activity that required their full attention or engaged in an undemanding reaction-time activity known to elicit mind-wandering. A fourth group of students had no break. The researchers then set the students a second set of unusual-uses tasks and found those that had, in the interim, been set the undemanding task that encouraged mind-wandering performed an average of around 40% better than they did before. The students in the other three groups showed no improvement."

Google Chrome Becomes World's No. 1 Browser 449

redletterdave writes "Just six months after Google Chrome eclipsed Mozilla's Firefox to become the world's second most popular Web browser, Chrome finally surpassed Microsoft's Internet Explorer on Sunday to become the most-used Web browser in the world, according to Statcounter. Since May 2011, Internet Explorer's global market share has been steadily decreasing from 43.9 percent to 31.4 percent of all worldwide users. In that time, Chrome has climbed from below 20 percent to nearly 32 percent of the market share. Yet, while Chrome is now the No. 1 browser in the world, it still lags behind Internet Explorer here in the U.S., but that will soon change. Chrome currently has 27.1 percent of the U.S. market share, compared to Internet Explorer's 30.9 percent, but IE is seeing significant drop-offs in usage while Chrome continues to rise."

The Leap: Gesture Control Like Kinect, But Cheaper and Higher Resolution 192

MrSeb writes "It seems Minority Report-style computer interfaces might arrive a whole lot sooner than we expected: A new USB device, called The Leap, creates an 8-cubic-feet bubble of 'interaction space,' which detects your hand gestures down to an accuracy of 0.01 millimeters — about 200 times more accurate than 'existing touch-free products and technologies,' such as your smartphone's touchscreen or Microsoft Kinect. Unfortunately Leap Motion (the company behind the Leap) is being very tight-lipped about the technology being used, but it's probably some kind of infrared LIDAR (radar, but using light), or perhaps a high-resolution version of Kinect (which only uses a 640x480 camera). It's available to pre-order for $70 — and developers can register for a free device + SDK."
Social Networks

Facebook Shares Retreat Below IPO Price 471

First time accepted submitter gtirloni writes "Just days after wrapping up the biggest initial public offering in Silicon Valley history, shares of Facebook slumped 6% and tumbled below their issue price on Monday, a troubling signal for the newly-public social network. Facebook broke below its $38-a-share issue IPO price in the wake of a highly-anticipated offering that raised more than $16 billion, the second-largest domestic IPO after Visa's 2008 debut. Shares of Facebook were recently off 6.44% to $35.72."