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Programming

+ - 173 Mind Maps: The Poor Man's Design Tool->

Submitted by
CowboyRobot
CowboyRobot writes ""UML too complex? Flowcharts too old school? Mind maps offer a simple way to capture designs and weave them together elegantly." The quickest way to begin designing a program is to simply write down the steps in normal text, but this method breaks down with more complex projects. UML can be a useful format for larger projects but can be difficult to get right, epecially when trying to use it with a less conventional project. The middle ground are 'Mind Maps', "a diagrammatic representation of loosely connected ideas. They are a central tool in brainstorming sessions. Mind map tools help capture ideas and then mush them around until you have the structure you want.""
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Iphone

+ - 183 Apple Acknowledges Major iPhone 5 Camera Flaw 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many iPhone 5 users are complaining that its camera is adding a purple flare to their photos. Speculation is that it's caused by the new sapphire lens cover that Apple touted as "thinner and more durable than standard glass with the ability to provide crystal clear images." Apple's response to those who've complained? "You're using it wrong.""

+ - 158 Ask slashdot: what to do when spotting a network intruder IP address? 1

Submitted by phr4nck
phr4nck (2743915) writes "I am in charge of a small website security. Everyday the FW logs show the IP address of people trying to get access to the system. This morning, I routinely was checking the file and a class A IP address trying to get root access held me up. It was coming from a big well known college on the US east coast. I contacted the IT security person and his first answer was:
"What are the timestamps on your logs? We located the machine a few hours ago and it should no longer be on our network."
I replied in sending a time stamped log file for which I received this answer:
"This host has been taken offline.
Thanks for reporting it."
It is not the first time I am reporting abusing access to my network and I have no idea if things are then taken seriously. What really to do? What would you do?
By the way the host is really currently offline."

+ - 126 Citrix XenServer 6.1 Released->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I am pleased to announce that earlier today, “Tampa” officially reached GA as XenServer 6.1. Within engineering, this is officially considered a “cloud centric” release, with many key features: live storage migration, LACP and guest IPv6 support, network security, VM conversion and support for many more VMs per host."
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Unix

+ - 143 Experimental, Python-powered Shell Released->

Submitted by
JonathansCorner.com
JonathansCorner.com writes "An experimental Unix/Linux command line shell, implemented in Python 3, that offers Unix strength while taking advantage of some more recent concepts in terms of usability and searching above pinpointing files in heirarchies. Nothing here is the last word, but it suggests some very interesting things to consider for the standard shells."
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Mars

+ - 222 Weather on Mars surprisingly pleasant, Curiosity rover finds Read more: http://->

Submitted by
hessian
hessian writes "Curiosity's onboard weather station, which is called the Remote Environment Monitoring Station (REMS), has measured air temperatures as high as 43 degrees Fahrenheit (6 degrees Celsius) in the afternoon. And temperatures have climbed above freezing during more than half of the Martian days, or sols, since REMS was turned on, scientists said.

These measurements are a bit unexpected, since it's still late winter at Gale Crater, the spot 4.5 degrees south of the Martian equator where Curiosity touched down on Aug. 5.

"That we are seeing temperatures this warm already during the day is a surprise and very interesting," Felipe Gómez, of the Centro de Astrobiología in Madrid, said in a statement."

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Security

+ - 137 Expert Fingers DDoS Toolkit Used in Bank Cyberattacks->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Cyberattackers who disrupted the websites of U.S. banks over the last two weeks used a highly sophisticated toolkit — a finding that points to a well-funded operation, one security vendor says. Prolexic Technologies said the distributed denial of service (DDoS) toolkit called 'itsoknoproblembro' was used against some of the banks which included Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase. Each of the banks was struck on separate days. The attackers, who called themselves Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters, claimed to be hacktivists angry over YouTube video trailers made in the U.S. that denigrated the Prophet Muhammad. Security vendors have questioned the attackers' claims, saying the assaults were far more sophisticated than those launched by typical hacktivists, a term used to describe hackers who target websites in the name of a political or social cause. Prolexic's findings bolstered that belief. The toolkit is capable of simultaneously attacking components of a website's infrastructure and application layers, flooding the targets with sustained traffic peaking at 70 gigabits per second. In addition, Prolexic found that traffic signatures were unusually complex and therefore difficult to reroute away from the targets."
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+ - 104 NIST Selects Winner of Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA-3) Competition->

Submitted by dsinc
dsinc (319470) writes "The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced the winner of its five-year competition to select a new cryptographic hash algorithm, one of the fundamental tools of modern information security.

The winning algorithm, Keccak (pronounced “catch-ack”), was created by Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen and Gilles Van Assche of STMicroelectronics and Michaël Peeters of NXP Semiconductors. The team’s entry beat out 63 other submissions that NIST received after its open call for candidate algorithms in 2007, when it was thought that SHA-2, the standard secure hash algorithm, might be threatened. Keccak will now become NIST’s SHA-3 hash algorithm."

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Windows

+ - 187 Microsoft Co-founder Dings Windows 8 as 'Puzzling, Confusing'->

Submitted by
CWmike
CWmike writes "Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has called Windows 8 'puzzling' and 'confusing initially,' but assured users that they would eventually learn to like the new OS. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates in 1975, left the company in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease. In a post to his personal blog on Tuesday — strangely titled in the third person as, 'Paul's take on Windows 8,' Allen said he has been running Windows 8 Release Preview — the public sneak peak Microsoft shipped May 31 — on both a traditional desktop as well as on a Samsung 700T tablet, designed for Windows 7. 'I did encounter some puzzling aspects of Windows 8,' Allen wrote, and said the dual, and dueling user interfaces (UIs), were confusing. 'The bimodal user experience can introduce confusion, especially when two versions of the same application — such as Internet Explorer — can be opened and run simultaneously,' Allen said."
Link to Original Source

+ - 193 SHA-3 winner announced->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has just announced the winner of the SHA-3 competition: Keccak, created by Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen and Gilles Van Assche of STMicroelectronics and Michaël Peeters of NXP Semiconductors.

“Keccak has the added advantage of not being vulnerable in the same ways SHA-2 might be,” says NIST computer security expert Tim Polk. “An attack that could work on SHA-2 most likely would not work on Keccak because the two algorithms are designed so differently.”

For Joan Daemen it must be a "two in a row" feeling, since he also is one of the authors of AES."

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Science

+ - 170 Super Bacteria Creates Gold->

Submitted by
SchrodingerZ
SchrodingerZ writes "With the price of gold skyrocketing in today's market, Michigan State University researchers have discovered a bacterium that can withstand high toxicity levels that are necessary to create natural gold. ''Microbial alchemy is what we're doing — transforming gold from something that has no value into a solid, precious metal that's valuable,' said Kazem Kashefi, assistant professor of microbiology and molecular genetics.' The bacteria is Cupriavidus metallidurans ; which is conditioned to be tolerant to heavy, toxic metals and be 25 times strong than most bacteria. When put into Gold-chloride (a natural forming toxic liquid), the bacteria reproduces and converts the liquid into a gold nugget. The complete process takes about a week to preform. This experiment is currently on tour as an art exhibit called 'The Great Work of the Metal Lover .'"
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Facebook

+ - 290 Why are we so rude online?->

Submitted by kodiaktau
kodiaktau (2351664) writes "An article reported by the WSJ discusses why online media users are more rude online than they are in person. The story discusses some of the possible reasons being lowered inhibitions because there is formal social interaction. Other theories include feeling like reporting on a phone or other device is simply communicating with a "toy" which dehumanizes the conversation. Submitter's note: A dehumanized conversation has never happened on Slashdot in the last 15 years."
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Patents

+ - 108 It's open season on software patents(and possibly invalidating them) ->

Submitted by
Cutting_Crew
Cutting_Crew writes "I came across an article on Wired that explains the crowd sourcing initiative between Stack Exchange, Google and the US Patent and Trademark Office. The overall purpose gives 3rd parties the ability to search and seek out prior art in an effort to derail pending patents and even invalidate patents that never should have been granted. This effort has led to the Patents on Stack Exchange where you can make a clear case about why a patent shouldn't be accepted or reversed and even submit it to the patent office(with the help of others helping you — that's the whole point!).

I started a thread there that relates to the slashdot story about Words Inc suing Blizzard over 4 patent claims 8,082,501, 7,493,558, 7,945,856 and 7,181,690 whose overall patent claim involves "System and Method for Enabling Users to Interact in a Virtual Space”. I got some good feedback and interest but it was suggested that i take one of the claims and try to offer up evidence of prior art and if I get backing I can start on the others — instead of trying to take on all four patents at once — which are slightly different in their details. If anyone is interested, I need help with coming up with prior art that I might have missed or simply don't know about in addition to the lists of prior art that I declared in my thread.

This is also a good time for all of us to look over other ridiculous software patents that have made its way onto Slashdot before so let the patent hunting begin!"

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+ - 119 Jolla Founds Alliance Based on MeeGo Distribution "Sailfish"->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "The Finnish smartphone startup Jolla has revealed the next chapter in their roadmap. The company announced that it is setting up an alliance to license a MeeGo-based OS called Sailfish to other OEMs. The operations, backed by 200M€, will begin at spring 2013. CEO Jussi Hurmola believes that the next big revolution in smartphones will happen in China, and the OS will provide an alternative independent smartphone ecosystem there. Jolla strives for more openness than OHA, by letting the partners design their services directly without needing green light from the alliance. Sailfish is headquartered in Hong Kong and R&D centers will be established in other parts of mainland China, possibly Shanghai and Peking."
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Android

+ - 173 Sandia lab fires up 300,000 virtual Android devices to test out security->

Submitted by
coondoggie
coondoggie writes "Researchers with the Sandia National Laboratory have tied together 300,000 virtual Android-based devices in an effort to study the security and reliability of large smartphone networks. The Android project, dubbed MegaDroid, is carefully insulated from other networks at the Labs and the outside world, but can be built up into a realistic computing environment, the researchers stated."
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Facebook

+ - 193 What Happened to Diaspora, the Facebook Killer? It's Complicated ->

Submitted by
pigrabbitbear
pigrabbitbear writes "Created by four New York University students, Diaspora tried to destroy the notion that one network could completely dominate the web. Diaspora – "the privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network,” as described on their Kickstarter page – offered what seemed like the perfect antidote to Zuckerbergian tyranny. The New York Times quickly got wind. Tired of being bullied, technologists rallied behind the burgeoning startup spectacle, transforming what began as a fun project into a political movement. Before a single line of code had been written, Diaspora was a sensation. Its anti establishment rallying cry and garage hacker ethos earned it kudos from across an Internet eager for signs of life among a generation grown addicted to status updates.

And yet, the battle may have been lost before it even began. Beyond the difficulty of actually executing a project of this scope and magnitude, the team of four young kids with little real-world programming experience found themselves crushed under the weight of expectation. Even before they had tried to produce an actual product, bloggers, technologists and open-source geeks everywhere were already looking to them to save the world from tyranny and oppression. Not surprisingly, the first release, on September 15, 2010 was a public disaster, mainly for its bugs and security holes. Former fans mockingly dismissed it as “swiss cheese.”"

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+ - 121 The history of "Correlation does not equal Causation"-> 1

Submitted by Dr Herbert West
Dr Herbert West (1357769) writes "The phrase "correlation != causation" goes back to 1880 (according to Google Books). However, the use of the phrase has increased exponentially starting 1990's-200's, and is becoming a quick way to short-circuit certain kinds of arguments.

In the late 19th century the British statistician Karl Pearson introduced a powerful idea in math: that a relationship between two variables could be characterized according to its strength and expressed in numbers. An exciting concept, but it raised a new set of issues-- how to interpret the data in a way that is helpful, rather than misleading.

When we mistake correlation for causation, we find a cause that isn't there, which is a problem...however, as science grows more powerful and government more technocratic, the stakes of correlation—of counterfeit relationships and bogus findings—grow larger."

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