itwbennett writes "In a blog post on Thursday, Twitter announced that it can now block individual Tweets in specific countries, while leaving them visible in other countries. 'We try to keep content up whenever and wherever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can't,' the blog said. Twitter will publish requests it receives to block content through its partnership with Chilling Effects."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
New submitter newmission33 writes "Government researchers have created the fastest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, and have fulfilled a 1967 prediction that an atomic scale X-ray laser could be made in the same manner as visible-light lasers, according to a statement released Wednesday. Researchers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory used the Linac Coherent Light Source to aim a powerful X-ray source beam, a billion times brighter than any previous source, at a capsule of neon gas and triggered an 'avalanche' of X-ray emissions to become the world's first 'atomic X-ray laser.'"
Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Reporters Without Borders released its 2011-2012 global Press Freedom Index. The indicators for press freedom in the U.S. are dramatic, with a downward movement from 27th to 47th in the global ranking, from the previous year. Much of this is correlated directly to the arrest and incarceration of American journalists covering the 'Occupy' protest movements in New York and across the country. 'This is especially troubling as we head into an election year which is sure to spark new conflicts between police and press covering rallies, protests and political events.' Only Chile, who dropped from 33 to 80, joined the U.S. in falling over 100% of their previous ranking. Similarly, Chile was downgraded for 'freedom of information violations committed by the security forces during student protests.'"
MrSeb writes "An Italian researcher with a penchant for retro games — or perhaps just looking for an excuse to play games in the name of science! — has used computational complexity theory to decide, once and for all, just how hard video games are. In a truly epic undertaking, Giovanni Viglietta of the University of Pisa has worked out the theoretical difficulty of 13 old games, including Pac-Man, Doom, Lemmings, Prince of Persia, and Boulder Dash. Pac-Man, with its traversal of space, is NP-hard. Doom, on the other hand, is PSPACE-hard."
astroengine writes "The number of known multi-planetary star systems has just tripled. What's more, the Kepler space telescope science team has just announced that they have doubled the number of confirmed exoplanetary sightings made by the observatory. Some of the newly discovered worlds are only 1.5 times the size of Earth, while others are bigger than Jupiter. Fifteen exoplanets are between Earth and Neptune in size, but further observations will be needed to determine if any have a rocky surface like Earth, or a gaseous consistency like Neptune."
McGruber writes "Wired reports that the American Association of Railroads is refuting the U.S. Transportation Security Administration memorandum that said hackers had disrupted railroad signals. In fact, 'There was no targeted computer-based attack on a railroad,' said AAR spokesman Holly Arthur. 'The memo on which the story was based has numerous inaccuracies.' The TSA memo was subject of an earlier Slashdot story in which Slashdot user currently_awake accurately commented on the true nature of the incident."
Diggester writes "Back in July 2010, the United States government approved a few exemptions in a federal law which made jailbreaking/rooting of electronic devices (iPhones and Android devices) legal. The court ruling stated that every three years, the exemptions have to be renewed considering they don't infringe any copyrighted material. The three-year period is due to expire and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is looking to get the exemptions renewed. In order to do so, they have filed a petition which aims at government to declare jailbreaking legal once again. In addition to that, EFF is also asking for a change in the original ruling to include tablet devices." Here's the EFF's own page on the issue.
An anonymous reader writes "The ZX81 Museum was set-up to preserve and showcase a private collection of original Sinclair branded ZX81 hardware, software and literature. The museum has since expanded to include ZX81 software from other publishers of the time and a variety of other ZX81 peripherals and reference books. The collection dates from 1981 to 1983 and features the complete Sinclair-branded software series. The activities of the museum are regularly reported via Twitter, along with updates from the ever growing ZX81 fanbase. There is even a YouTube channel for the diehard 8-bit fans out there, of which there seems to be many!" This was one of the first computers I ever used; I suspect it's still buried in some deep stratum in my dad's basement. As is often the case, the old advertisements are great.
Harperdog writes "Dawn Stover recounts her attempts to access information at energy.gov, the U.S. Energy Department's 'cutting-edge, interactive information platform,' which apparently isn't any of those things. Especially frustrating were her attempts to locate important documents related to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. An interesting read for anyone interested in true government transparency."
silentbrad writes "Online passes are a recent staple in staving off used sales. Limiting what used buyers can access is a protective measure for publishers, much to the chagrin of parts of the gaming community. Chris Kohler of Wired argues that the death of used games is inevitable, and passes are the first step toward something exactly like a native anti-used game something integrated into consoles. He notes, of course, that digital is the future of buying games, but in the meantime we may be looking at 'an interim period in which the disc as a delivery method is still around but ... becomes more like a PC game, which are sold with one-time-use keys that grant one owner a license to play the game on his machine.' Also at Kotaku, the source for the Wired article (which is the source for the IGN article)."
First time accepted submitter azrael29a writes "22 EU members signed the controversial ACTA treaty today in Tokyo. However, the signatures of the EU member states and the EU itself will count for nothing unless the European Parliament gives its approval to ACTA in June."
Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that the U.S. government used convicted con artist David Whitaker, owner of an online business selling steroids and human growth hormone to U.S. consumers, to help federal agents in a sting operation against Google when he began advertising with Google with advertisements that included the statement 'no prescription needed,' clearly violating U.S. laws. Google's settlement with the U.S. government for $500 million blamed AdWords sales by Canadian pharmacies, who allegedly were selling drugs to U.S. consumers. 'We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies some time ago,' Google said then. 'However, it's obvious with hindsight that we shouldn't have allowed these ads on Google in the first place.' Peter Neronha, the U.S. attorney for Rhode Island who led the multiagency federal task force that conducted the sting, claims that chief executive Larry Page had personal knowledge of the operation, as did Sheryl Sandberg, a Google executive who now is the chief operating officer for Facebook. In 2009 Google started requiring online pharmacy advertisers to be certified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Sites program and hired an outside company to detect pharmacy advertisers exploiting flaws in the Google's screening systems."
jjp9999 writes "A WikiLeaks cable reveals that the NASDAQ folded to pressure from the Chinese regime and kicked out a U.S.-based Chinese TV network, NTD TV. The Chinese Communist Party has been trying to block this station for years now, since it's one of the few major Chinese media that refuses to censor its content. Although they're blocked in Mainland China, they broadcast in with satellites. The timing of the incident aligns well with other actions launched by the CCP against the TV station. They used to broadcast into China through French satellite company Eutelsat, but their connection was cut. Reporters Without Borders investigated and found the Chinese regime was behind it. They now use a Taiwanese satellite."
judgecorp writes "British mobile operator O2 says it has stopped sharing users phone numbers with all websites, and says the breach was an accident. Yesterday, users found that the operator was automatically passing their mobile numbers to any site they visited, while using O2's mobile network,"