chicksdaddy writes "File this one under 'proof of the obvious,' but researchers at the recent 4th International Workshop on Location Based Social Networks presented a paper proving that your activity on Foursquare can be used to reliably determine your hometown. A study of data on 13 million Foursquare accounts showed that researchers could infer 'with high accuracy' where a particular user lives based on their accumulation of mayorships, check-ins and tips. Specifically: the researchers could correctly infer the home town of the Foursquare users 78% of the time, within an accuracy of about 50 kilometers."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
First time accepted submitter Cute and Cuddly writes in with some new Julian Assange news. "The U.S. military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States — the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with 'communicating with the enemy.'"
puddingebola writes in with news of a new app that might be of interest to those studying Einstein's brain, or just looking for something neat for Halloween. "Albert Einstein's brain, that revolutionized physics, can now be downloaded as an iPad app for USD 9.99. The exclusive application, which has been just launched, promises to make detailed images of Einstein's brain more accessible to scientists than ever before. The funding to scan and digitize nearly 350 fragile and priceless slides made from slices of Einstein's brain after his death in 1955 were given to a medical museum under development in Chicago, website 'Independent.ie' reported. The application will allow researchers and novices to peer into the eccentric Nobel winner's brain as if they were looking through a microscope. 'I can't wait to find out what they'll discover,' Steve Landers, a consultant for the National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago, who designed the app, was quoted as saying by 'Press Association.'"
netbuzz writes "Last night Linux creator Linus Torvalds took to his Google+ page and called Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney 'a f***ing moron.' Torvalds' stated reason? Romney's much-ridiculed suggestion that air passengers would be safer in emergencies if aircraft windows could be opened (a suggestion which some, including Snopes.com, have taken as a joke). Torvalds also recently called Mormonism, Romney's religion, 'bats**t crazy.' Is this just Linus being Linus? Or does such outspokenness on non-technical matters reflect poorly on the Linux community that Torvalds leads?"
kthreadd writes "Gnome 3.6 is out. The announcement reads: 'The GNOME Project is proud to present GNOME 3.6, the third update to the 3.x series. This latest version of GNOME 3 includes a number of new features and enhancements, as well as many bug fixes and minor improvements. Together, they represent a significant upgrade to the GNOME 3 user experience.' Andreas Nilsson, President of the GNOME Foundation, said: 'The GNOME Foundation is proud to present this latest GNOME release, and I would like to congratulate the GNOME community on its achievement.' He described the release as 'an important milestone in our mission to bring a free and open computing environment to everyone.' New applications include Clocks and Boxes. Clocks is a world time clock, which allows you to keep an eye on what the local time is around the world. Boxes allows you to connect to other machines, either virtual or remote. For developers there's the new GtkLevelBar widget in GTK+, and GtkEntry can now use Pango attributes."
An anonymous reader writes "Our politicians, and their henchmen, at their finest! In an apparent error, the Democratic National Convention's primary backdrop for its salute to veterans, by a 4-star admiral, featured a composite warship backdrop, in parade review, as a sign of U.S. strength and force projection; unfortunately, all of the naval ships in the image were Russian warships."
h00manist writes that, as promised, "The police executed an order to detain Google's top executive in Brazil (Original in Portuguese), Fábio José Silva Coelho. Google refused an order to remove a YouTube video which accused a mayoral candidate of several crimes. Police say he will be released today; Brazilian law for the case allows for a one-year max sentence. Streisand Effect, anyone?"
DeviceGuru writes "Suitable Technologies today unveiled a telepresence robot based on technology from Willow Garage, a robotics research lab. Beam (as in 'Beam me up, Scotty' — no, really!) implements a video chat function on a computer you can remotely drive around via Internet-based control. Beam, which stands 62 inches tall and weighs 95 pounds, adheres to four operational imperatives, which are intended to mimic human interaction and behavior: reciprocity of vision (if I see you, you must see me); ensuring private communication (no recordings of what goes on); transparency of technology (keeping the interaction natural); and respect social norms (don't push or shove Beam!). But the big question is: Does Beam also adhere to Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics? Let's hope so!"
Third Position writes "The most unambiguous data to date on the elusive 113th atomic element has been obtained by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). A chain of six consecutive alpha decays, produced in experiments at the RIKEN Radioisotope Beam Factory (RIBF), conclusively identifies the element through connections to well-known daughter nuclides. The search for superheavy elements is a difficult and painstaking process. Such elements do not occur in nature and must be produced through experiments involving nuclear reactors or particle accelerators, via processes of nuclear fusion or neutron absorption. Since the first such element was discovered in 1940, the United States, Russia and Germany have competed to synthesize more of them. Elements 93 to 103 were discovered by the Americans, elements 104 to 106 by the Russians and the Americans, elements 107 to 112 by the Germans, and the two most recently named elements, 114 and 116, by cooperative work of the Russians and Americans. With their latest findings, associate chief scientist Kosuke Morita and his team at the RNC are set follow in these footsteps and make Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element."
An anonymous reader writes "Google today announced a huge change for Google Apps, including its Business, Education, and Government editions. As of October 1, users will no longer have the ability to download documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in old Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt)." The perils of cloud computing; LibreOffice will probably be the best conversion utility at that point. Apropos: Reader akumpf writes with an essay about the dangers of letting our data and our tools be hosted by the same provider.
An anonymous reader writes "In an apparent reaction to the security vulnerabilities demonstrated by The H's associates at heise Security, the company behind WhatsApp Messenger is taking action against the developers of a library of functions for using the WhatsApp service via a PC. The developers have responded by removing the source code from the web. However, the popular texting alternative WhatsApp still has a major security problem. Attackers can compromise other users' accounts with relative ease, and send and receive messages from another user's account. Forked versions of the code are still available on Github."
Capt.Albatross writes "A couple of months ago, the New York Times published political scientist Andrew Hacker's opinion that teaching algebra is harmful. Today, it has followed up with an article that is clearly intended to indicate the usefulness of basic mathematics by suggesting useful exercises in a variety of 'real-world' topics. While the starter questions in each topic involve formula evaluation rather than symbolic manipulation, the follow-up questions invite readers to delve more deeply. The value of mathematics education has been a (recurring issue on Slashdot)."
colinneagle writes "Linux dude Bryan Lunduke blogged here about the top three approaches he thinks are the easiest for new users to pick up Linux. Lunduke's, for example, went Ubuntu -> Arch -> openSUSE. It raises a question that Slashdot could answer well in the comments: what's your distro use order from beginning to now? Maybe we could spot some trends."
crookedvulture writes "High-PPI displays are becoming increasingly popular on tablets and notebooks, but Windows 8 may not be ready for them. On a 13" notebook display with a 1080p resolution, the RTM version of Win8 scales up some desktop UI elements nicely. However, there are serious issues with Metro, which produces tiles and text that are either too small or too large depending on the PPI setting used. That setting, by the way, is a simple on/off switch that tells the OS to 'make everything bigger.' Web browsing is particularly problematic, with Internet Explorer 10 introducing ugly rendering artifacts when scaling pages in both Metro and desktop modes. Clearly, there's work to be done on the OS side to properly support higher pixel densities."