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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

+ - 250 In New Zealand The Right To Silence And Presumption Of Innocence Are In Danger->

Submitted by cold fjord
cold fjord (826450) writes "The New Zealand Herald reports, "Fundamental pillars of the criminal justice system may be eroded whichever party wins the election this year, as both National's and Labour's proposals would look into changing the right to silence or the presumption of innocence in rape cases. Both major parties claim the current system is not upholding justice for victims, and are looking at changes that would effectively make it easier for prosecutors to obtain convictions. National wants to explore allowing a judge or jury to see an accused's refusal to give evidence in a negative light, while Labour wants to shift the burden of proof of consent from the alleged victim to the accused.""
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+ - 102 Enjoy Holidays with Holiday Loan Even with Bad Credit Rank->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Assuredly, you must require a richly deserved halt from that office daily routine. However if you are planning of moving to a distant exotic place on a vacation tour, then,it necessitates lots of expenses and there may be a worry on your resources. Though, you have one frequently deliberated option and that is to take out Unsecured Holiday Loan."
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+ - 102 Github tracks you by email->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "That's right. Github tracks you by email. Each Github notification email contains in the HTML part a beacon. Beacons are usually one pixel images with a unique URL to know who did view the email or not — triggered by the HTML rendered downloading the image to display."
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+ - 235 Magnetic Field of Earth Weakening a Sign Poles Are Flipping->

Submitted by Trachman
Trachman (3499895) writes "The magnetic field of Earth is weakening more rapidly than many scientists thought it would, a sign that Earth’s magnetic poles might flip within a few hundred years as opposed to thousands of years. Data collected from Swarm, the collective name for three European Space Agency (ESA) satellites, confirms that Earth’s magnetic field is weakening, something which has led to many past switches in Earth’s magnetic poles.Deep ocean core studies have confirmed, according to NASA, that the Earth’s magnetic poles reverse on a relatively frequent basis. They usually switch anywhere from 200,000 to 300,000 years. As it has been 700,000 years or so since a flip has taken place, Earth is overdue for one. The weakening magnetic field might be a sign that the switch will occur sooner, rather than later. Scientists, according to a report by LiveScience, had thought that Earth’s magnetic field was weakening by about five percent every hundred years. At that rate, they calculated that a flip in the Earth’s magnetic fields would not happen for around another 2,000 years. However, the new data from Swarm indicates that Earth’s magnetic field is actually currently weakening at a rate of five percent every decade instead of century. That rate is 10 times faster than the scientists had allowed for in their calculations about when the next flip would happen. That being said, we know that the Earth's magnetic field is primary protecting shield from cosmic particles and, consequently, is a primary factor to the Earth's temperature.

My Scoop is following: At the risk of being not popular here at Slashdot I dare to ask: can magnetic field changes and climate changes be connected and analyzed in concert?"

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+ - 109 White House responds to petition to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consu->

Submitted by devloop
devloop (983641) writes "White House posts an official response to this petition, already with nearly 140,000 votes in favor, to allow direct sales to consumers in all 50 states. "We believe in the goal of improving consumer choice for American families, including more vehicles that provide savings at the pump for consumers. However, we understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress.""
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+ - 301 Rocket Scientist Designs 'Flare' Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Oxford University engineering professor Dr Thomas Povey just invented a new cooking pot that heats food 40% faster. The pot is made from cast aluminum, and it features fins that direct flames across the bottom and up the sides, capturing energy that would otherwise be wasted. The pot is set to hit the market next month in the UK."
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+ - 119 Chinese State Media Declares iPhone A Threat To National Security->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "When NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forth last year with US government spying secrets, it didn't take long to realize that some of the information revealed could bring on serious repercussions — not just for the US government, but also for US-based companies. The latest to feel the hit? None other than Apple, and in a region the company has been working hard to increase market share: China. China, via state media, has today declared that Apple's iPhone is a threat to national security — all because of its thorough tracking capabilities. It has the ability to keep track of user locations, and to the country, this could potentially reveal "state secrets" somehow. It's being noted that the iPhone will continue to track the user to some extent even if the overall feature is disabled. China's iPhone ousting comes hot on the heels of Russia's industry and trade deeming AMD and Intel processors to be untrustworthy. The nation will instead be building its own ARM-based "Baikal" processor."
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+ - 297 FAA Intimidates Coldwell Banker, Other Realtors Into Shunning Drone Photography-> 1

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "For months, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been investigating realtors who use drones to film their properties. Now, Forbes has learned that the FAA’s investigations have succeeded in intimidating NRT —the nation’s largest residential real estate brokerage company — into advising their members to not only cease flying drones as part of their work, but to also cease using drone footage.

This is a troubling development in an ongoing saga over the FAA’s rules which punish the safe commercial use of drones. Currently, the FAA does not prohibit the use of drones for a hobby — flying over your home and taking pictures of it for fun is allowed, but because real estate drones take pictures for a commercial purpose, the FAA prohibits their use."

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+ - 101 DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "A DARPA-funded project has successfully developed a .50 caliber sniper round capable of maneuvering during flight in order to remain on target. The self-guiding EXACTO bullet, as it's being called, is optically guided by a laser that must remain on target for the bullet to track. The EXACTO round is capable of accurately tracking a target up to 1.2 miles away, DARPA stated. The technology, which is being developed by Teledyne Scientific and Imaging, is targeted at helping snipers remain at longer distances from targets as well as improving night shots. While DARPA's tracking bullet is the first to use a standard, small-arms caliber round, in 2012 Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) successfully demonstrated a prototype self-guided bullet that was more like like a four-inch dart."
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+ - 101 FCC Approves Plan To Spend $2B Over Next Two Years On School Wi-Fi->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "The Federal Communications Commission, in a 3-2 party-line vote Friday, approved a plan to revamp the 17-year-old E-Rate program, which pays for telecom services for schools and libraries, by phasing out funding for voice service, Web hosting and paging services, and redirecting money to Wi-Fi. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler had proposed a $5 billion budget for Wi-Fi, but Republican commissioners and some lawmakers had questioned where the money would come from. Still, the E-Rate revamp approved Friday contemplates a $1 billion-a-year target for Wi-Fi projects 'year after year,' Wheeler said."
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+ - 121 First release of LibreSSL portable is available.

Submitted by ConstantineM
ConstantineM (965345) writes "It has finally happened. Bob Beck of The OpenBSD Foundation has just announced that the first release of LibreSSL portable is now available, and can be found in the LibreSSL directory of your favourite OpenBSD mirror. libressl-2.0.0.tar.gz has been tested to build on various versions of Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. This is intended to be an initial portable release of OpenBSD's libressl to allow the community to start using it and providing feedback, and has been done to address the issue of incorrect portable versions being attempted by third-parties. Support for additional platforms will be added as time and resources permit."

+ - 123 Source Code Leaked for Tinba Banking Trojan->

Submitted by msm1267
msm1267 (2804139) writes "The source code for Tinba, known as the smallest banker Trojan in circulation, has been posted on an underground forum. Researchers say that the files turned out to be the source code for version one of Tinba, which was identified in 2012, and is the original, privately sold version of the crimeware kit.

Tinba performs many of the same malicious functions as other banker Trojans, injecting itself into running processes on an infected machine, including the browser and explorer.exe. The malware is designed to steal financial information, including banking credentials and credit-card data and also makes each infected computer part of a botnet. Compromised machines communicate with command-and-control servers over encrypted channels. Tinba got its name from an abbreviation of “tiny banker”, and researchers say that it’s only about 20 KB in size."

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+ - 188 A Peek Inside D-Wave's Quantum Computing Hardware->

Submitted by JeremyHsu
JeremyHsu (3743035) writes "A one-second delay can still seem like an eternity for a quantum computing machine capable of running calculations in mere millionths of a second. That delay represents just one of the challenges D-Wave Systems overcame in building its second-generation quantum computing machine known as D-Wave Two — a system that has been leased to customers such as Google, NASA and Lockheed Martin. D-Wave's rapid-scaling approach to quantum computing has plenty of critics, but the company's experience in building large-scale quantum computing hardware could provide valuable lessons for everyone, regardless of whether the D-Wave machines live up to quantum computing's potential by proving they can outperform classical computers. (D-Wave recently detailed the hardware design changes between its first- and second-generation quantum computing machines in the the June 2014 issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity.)

"We were nervous about going down this path," says Jeremy Hilton, vice president of processor development at D-Wave Systems. "This architecture requires the qubits and the quantum devices to be intermingled with all these big classical objects. The threat you worry about is noise and impact of all this stuff hanging around the qubits. Traditional experiments in quantum computing have qubits in almost perfect isolation. But if you want quantum computing to be scalable, it will have to be immersed in a sea of computing complexity."

(This story is the latest in a series of quantum computing stories I've written for IEEE Spectrum.)"

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+ - 234 The First Person Ever To Die In A Tesla Is A Guy Who Stole One

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "Elon Musk can no longer say that no one's ever died in a Tesla automobile crash. But few people will be pointing fingers at the electric car maker for this senseless tragedy. Earlier this month, 26-year-old Joshua Slot managed to successfully ride off with a Model S he'd stolen from a Tesla service center in Los Angeles, but police quickly spotted the luxury vehicle and gave chase. According to Park Labrea News, the high-speed pursuit was eventually called off after officers were involved in a fender bender of their own, leaving the police department strained for resources and without any feasible way of catching up to Slot. Reports claim he was traveling at speeds of "nearly 100 mph," but losing the police tail apparently didn't convince Slot to hit the brakes. Instead he sped on, eventually colliding with three other vehicles and a pair of street poles. The final impact was severe enough to "split the Tesla in half" and eject Slot from the car's remains. The Tesla's front section wound up in the middle of the road and caught fire. Its rear portion flew through the air with such force that it slammed into the side of a local Jewish community center and became wedged there."

+ - 238 Mars (One) Needs Payloads->

Submitted by mbone
mbone (558574) writes "Mars One has announced that their first, unmanned, lander, targeted for 2018, needs payloads. Along with their 4 experiments, and a University experiment, they have two payloads for hire :

Mars One offers two payload opportunities for paying mission contributors. Proposals can take the form of scientific experiments, technology demonstrations, marketing and publicity campaigns, or any other suggested payload. “Previously, the only payloads that have landed on Mars are those which NASA has selected,” said Bas Lansdorp, “We want to open up the opportunity to the entire world to participate in our mission to Mars by sending a certain payload to the surface of Mars.”

The formal Request for Proposals for all of this is out now as well."
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+ - 147 Israel's Iron Dome rocket defense system is high-tech. So is the PR campaign->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "It isn't as if real analysis of Israel's "Iron Dome" isn't available, but invariably, whenever Israel has a skirmish the media is filled with glowing reports of how well the system works, and we always find out months later that the numbers were exaggerated. John Mecklin at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists looks at the coverage of Iron Dome in the recent exchanges between Israel and Hamas and finds the pattern is repeating itself. However, 'Ted Postol, an MIT-based missile defense expert and frequent Bulletin contributor, provided a dose of context to the Iron Dome coverage in a National Public Radio interview Wednesday. "We can tell, for sure, from video images and even photographs that the Iron Dome system is not working very well at all,"' Includes a good explanation of the differences between Iron Dome (a 'rocket defense system') and missile defense systems pushed by the US."
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+ - 123 "Nano-Pixels" Hold Huge Potential For Flexible, Low-Power, High-Res Screens->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The Retina displays featured on Apple's iPhone 4 and 5 models pack a pixel density of 326 ppi, with individual pixels measuring 78 micrometers. That might seem plenty good enough given the average human eye is unable to differentiate between the individual pixels, but scientists in the UK have now developed technology that could lead to extremely high-resolution displays that put such pixel densities to shame."
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