GNOME

GNOME 3: Beauty To the Bone? 647

someWebGeek writes "According to the GNOME design crew, as reported by Allan over at As Far as I Know, GNOME 3 will represent a new approach to GNOME application design. The design patterns being developed and employed may effect a new, prettier interface, but more importantly a new mindset about the entire project, a mindset intended to encourage greater deep beauty in the application layers below the user interface. Maybe...for now, I'm sticking to the sinking ship of KDE in the Ubuntu ocean."
Businesses

EU and US Approve Google-Motorola Deal 187

angry tapir writes "European regulators have given Google the green light to take over Motorola Mobility. The U.S. $12.5 billion deal faced strong opposition from open source and consumer rights advocates, including Consumer Watchdog, but the European Commission announced on Monday that the acquisition could go ahead, without conditions." Later in the day the DOJ announced an end to its investigation, greenlighting the acquisition in the U.S. as well.
Technology

Ask Slashdot: Making a Tablet Run Only One Application? 260

An anonymous reader asks "I'm working for a medical centre who want to make a tablet with various videos and webpages about smoking cessation available in their waiting room. The tablet can't access the Internet because of security policies. I'm planning to use a local server with copies of the (Creative Commons) videos and pages accessed through local webpages using the tablet's browser. How can I make only the browser be available to the tablet users? Ideas? Suggestions?"
Security

Cryptome Hit By Blackhole Exploit Kit 49

wiredmikey writes with an excerpt from Security Week:"Whistleblower site Cryptome has been hacked and infected by the Blackhole exploit kit. ... Cryptome co-founder John Young however told SecurityWeek that the Cryptome site is in the process of cleaning everything up, and that process should be finished by the end of the day. Founded in 1996, Cryptome publishes thousands of documents, including many related to national security, law enforcement and military. On Feb. 12, a reader advised the site that accessing a file had triggered a warning in their antivirus about the Blackhole exploit kit. ... Subsequent analysis found thousands of files on the site had been infected." Cryptome has certainly seen worse.
Education

MIT's Online Education Prototype Opens For Enrollment 42

OldHawk777 writes with news that MITx, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's online learning initiative, has opened free enrollment for its first course: 6.002x: Circuits and Electronics. "Modeled after MIT’s 6.002 — an introductory course for undergraduate students in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) — 6.002x will introduce engineering in the context of the lumped circuit abstraction, helping students make the transition from physics to the fields of electrical engineering and computer science. ... 'We are very excited to begin MITx with this prototype class,' says MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif. 'We will use this prototype course to optimize the tools we have built by soliciting and acting on feedback from learners.' To access the course, registered students will log in at mitx.mit.edu, where they will find a course schedule, an e-textbook for the course, and a discussion board. Each week, students will watch video lectures and demonstrations, work with practice exercises, complete homework assignments, and participate in an online interactive lab specifically designed to replicate its real-world counterpart. Students will also take exams and be able to check their grades as they progress in the course. Overall, students can expect to spend approximately 10 hours each week on the course."
Google

How To Pull Location Data From Encrypted Google Maps Sessions 28

Trailrunner7 writes "In the last couple of years, Google and some other Web giants have moved to make many of their services accessible over SSL, and in many cases, made HTTPS connections the default. That's designed to make eavesdropping on those connections more difficult, but as researchers have shown, it certainly doesn't make traffic analysis of those connections impossible. Vincent Berg of IOActive has written a tool that can monitor SSL connections and make some highly educated guesses about the contents of the requests going to Google Maps, specifically looking at what size the PNG files returned by Google Maps are. The tool then attempts to group those images in a specific location, based on the grid and tile system that Google uses to construct its maps."
EU

Europe's 'Right To Be Forgotten' Threatens Online Free Speech 410

An anonymous reader writes "Jeffrey Rosen, Legal Affairs Editor for The New Republic, explains why the E.U.'s proposed data protection regulation known as the right to be forgotten is actually 'the biggest threat to free speech on the Internet in the coming decade.' In the Stanford Law Review Online (there's a shorter version in TNR), he writes: 'The right to be forgotten could make Facebook and Google, for example, liable for up to two percent of their global income if they fail to remove photos that people post about themselves and later regret, even if the photos have been widely distributed already. Unless the right is defined more precisely when it is promulgated over the next year or so, it could precipitate a dramatic clash between European and American conceptions of the proper balance between privacy and free speech, leading to a far less open Internet.' According to Rosen, the 'right' goes farther than previously thought, treating 'takedown requests for truthful information posted by others identically to takedown requests for photos I've posted myself that have then been copied by others: both are included in the definition of personal data as "any information relating" to me, regardless of its source.' Examples of previous attempts this might bolster include 'efforts by two Germans convicted of murdering a famous actor to remove their criminal history from the actor's Wikipedia page' and an 'Argentine pop star [who] had posed for racy pictures when she was young, but recently sued Google and Yahoo to take them down.'"
Hardware

Despite Media Confusion, Raspberry Pi Boards Still On Schedule 57

Last Friday, an article in Eurogamer about the Raspberry Pi's upcoming release threw a wrench in the mental gears of anyone hoping to soon order one of the long-awaited (and much anticipated) boards, which had been expected to be ready for orders sometime this month. The piece was based on an interview with David Braben — since picked up, and subsequently corrected, by others as well — and it gave the impression both that a sudden delay had cropped up in the schedule (so that the boards wouldn't be available for consumers until September), and that the price might rise as well. The Raspberry Pi site says that both of these were mistaken, and clarifies (with some bold print, even): "You will be able to buy a Raspberry Pi from the end of February, from this website. The 'consumer release' that Eurogamer is talking about is actually the educational release, which, as you’ll be aware if you’ve been hanging out on our forums, will come with a kid-targetted software stack, a heap of written support materials, and a standard case." That educational version sounds like it's got enough value added to justify a higher price and a longer wait, but you can unwrench those gears if you're just interested in the plain (unboxed) board instead.
Canada

Ontario Teachers' Union Calls For Health-Related Classroom Wi-Fi Ban 365

New submitter KJE writes "The CBC is reporting that an Ontario teachers' union is calling for an end to new Wi-Fi setups in the province's 1,400-plus Catholic schools. The Ontario English Catholic Teacher's Association (OECTA) says computers in all new schools should be hardwired instead of setting up wireless networks. The OECTA, in its paper (PDF), said the 'safety of this technology has not thoroughly been researched and therefore the precautionary principle and prudent avoidance of exposure should be practiced.'"
Businesses

Twisted Metal Designer Rails Against Storytelling Games 313

eldavojohn writes "Twisted Metal designer David Jaffe gave a DICE Summit presentation in which he argued against 'games that have been intentionally made from the ground up with the intent and purpose of telling a story or expressing a philosophy or giving a designer's narrative.' He went on to say essentially that it's a waste of time and resources when the focus should be on gameplay, not story. While some parts of his presentation are warmly welcomed by the gaming community (like his instructions for game execs to get a BS filter), this particular point has some unsurprising opponents. His argument against a 'cinematic narrative' was probably strongest with his comparison to the movie Saving Private Ryan, where Spielberg made the Normandy Beach invasion scene as close to a documentary as possible. The audience could sit back and appreciate that. But if you made a game where the player is in that position of the soldier then that historically accurate imagery and top shelf voice acting doesn't really matter, the only thing the player should be thinking is 'How the **** do I get to that rock? How do I get to the exit?' Is Jaffe right? Have game makers been 'seduced by the power and language of film' at the expense of gameplay?"
Government

Obama Budget Asks For 1% Boost In Research 351

sciencehabit sends this excerpt from ScienceInsider: "One of the big three research agencies appears to be lagging behind its doubling peers in the president's 2013 budget request released this morning. The $4.9 billion budget of the Department of Energy's Office of Science would rise by 2.4%, to $5 billion. In contrast, the National Science Foundation would receive a nearly 5% boost, to $7.37 billion, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology a hike of 13%, to $860 million. These three agencies were originally singled by President George W. Bush in 2006 for a 10-year budget doubling, a promise that President Barack Obama and Congress have repeatedly endorsed despite the current tough economic times. ... Obama is asking for a 1% increase in overall federal spending on research, to $140 billion. Within that total, the White House seeks a similar 1% hike in the $30 billion devoted to basic research."
Space

New Horizons: One Billion Miles From Pluto 135

astroengine writes "On Feb. 10, NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons probe entered the homestretch of its mission. When you are sprinting across the solar system, 'homestretch' is the final 1 billion miles of your journey. That sounds like quite a long stretch! But the half-ton spacecraft has already logged 2 billion miles since its launch in early 2006. That's twice the distance between Earth and Saturn. Though the icy dwarf planet is still three years away from its close encounter, mission scientists call this the Late Cruise phase of the flight."
Businesses

Video Venture Capital in Detroit, Among Other Places (Video) 36

If you have a startup idea kicking around in your head, you don't necessarily need to head for California, New York or Massachusetts to find venture capital. In today's video, Timothy Lord visits a venture capital firm called Detroit Venture Partners. (Yes, it's in Detroit.) This not an intimidating company, even though it has some big bucks and big names (including Magic Johnson) behind it. But this doesn't mean you need to rush to Detroit to fund your million-dollar idea. There are lots of local venture capital companies in the U.S. -- and chances are, wherever you are, there's one near you that's panting to invest in your can't-miss business opportunity.
Science

LHC Powers Up To 4 TeV 142

An anonymous reader writes "Due to a decision made at Chamonix, the LHC will operate with a 4 TeV beam energy in 2012. This will allow them to collect as much data as possible (15 inverse femtobarns for ATLAS and CMS) before the whole accelerator complex gets shut down for about 20 months to prepare for even higher energies. 'By the time the LHC goes into its first long stop at the end of this year, we will either know that a Higgs particle exists or have ruled out the existence of a Standard Model Higgs,' said CERN's Research Director, Sergio Bertolucci. 'Either would be a major advance in our exploration of nature, bringing us closer to understanding how the fundamental particles acquire their mass, and marking the beginning of a new chapter in particle physics.'"
Advertising

Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet? 260

jfruh writes "Dan Tynan is a privacy blogger and longtime proponent of the use of browser plug-ins and other technologies that block advertisers from tracking your web browsing habits. He's also a professional tech writer who makes his living writing articles for free, ad-supported sites. But he doesn't feel those two facts are in conflict, and points out that users pay good money to ISPs for those 'free' sites."

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