Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Security

+ - 167 DARPA Funds A $300 Software-Defined Radio For Hackers->

Submitted by Sparrowvsrevolution
Sparrowvsrevolution (1926150) writes "Over the weekend at the ToorCon hacker conference in San Diego, Michael Ossmann of Great Scott Gadgets revealed a beta version of the HackRF Jawbreaker, the latest model of the wireless Swiss-army knife tools known as “software-defined radios.” Like any software-defined radio, the HackRF can shift between different frequencies as easily as a computer switches between applications–It can both read and transmit signals from 100 megaherz to 6 gigaherz, intercepting or reproducing frequencies used by everything from FM radios to police communications to garage door openers to Wifi and GSM to next-generation air traffic control system messages.

At Ossmann’s target price of $300, the versatile, open-source devices would cost less than half as much as currently existing software-defined radios with the same capabilities. And to fund the beta testing phase of HackRF, the Department of Defense research arm known as the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) pitched in $200,000 last February as part of its Cyber Fast Track program."

Link to Original Source

+ - 163 Why is ham radio so pricey? 2

Submitted by shaitand
shaitand (626655) writes "I just got my amateur radio license and while I can afford the gear I can't help but wonder why the gear is so crazy expensive. Point this out to hams and they will say it doesn't have to be expensive and point to "cheap" radios and kits that are $150+ and offer limited technology.

I know ham radio gear isn't a large market but the same designs that were good 20 years are being sold for the same prices today. It would seem like you could probably implement an HF radio transceiver using a pic microcontroller that costs less than $20. So why are 20 year old designs of this gear selling for $1000?

I can buy an entire modern equiv to a laptop that would have cost $2000 20 years ago for $300 today. Why can't I buy the actual radio being sold 20 years ago at $1000 for $100 today?"
Government

+ - 156 Voting Machines Receive New Scrutiny (but not from the government)-> 6

Submitted by
monkease
monkease writes "The cover story of this month's Harper's, "How to Rig an Election," (excerpt, subscription required) examines in incredible depth the use of voting machines in today's elections, statistical discrepancies in polling and election results, and the unwillingness of the political and journalistic establishment to address what are, at best, gross security flaws and conflicts of interest. This has been covered on Slashdot for about the past decade, but never that I've seen with such a broad lens."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - 198 Microsoft increasing role in the retail stores->

Submitted by Meshach
Meshach (578918) writes "Article in the Wall Street Journal about how Microsoft is entering the retail market for computers. With Windows 8 being released Microsoft is dictating more and more to big-box retailers how their systems should be marketed to consumers. Also The number of Microsoft stores selling directly to consumers is doubling."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - 211 Scientists link deep wells to deadly Spainish quake Read more: http://www.ctvne-> 2

Submitted by Meshach
Meshach (578918) writes "Research has suggested that human activity triggered an earthquake in Span that killed nine and injured over three hundred. Drilling deeper and deeper wells to water crops over the past 50 years were identified as the culprit by scientist who examined satellite images of the area. It was noted that even without the strain caused by water extraction, a quake would likely have occurred at some point in the area but the extra stress of pumping vast amounts of water from a nearby aquifer may have been enough to trigger a quake at that particular time and place."
Link to Original Source
Politics

+ - 257 The Romney family has investment ties to faulty voting machine company-> 1

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Where is the FEC on this? "Through a closely held equity fund called Solamere, Mitt Romney and his wife, son and brother are major investors in an investment firm called H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. in turn holds a majority share and three out of five board members in Hart Intercivic, a company that owns the notoriously faulty electronic voting machines that will count the ballots in swing state Ohio November 7""
Link to Original Source
Hardware

+ - 268 New Powerful Arduino Due ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "After six years in the making, the Arduino Due is finally becoming available and, with a price tag of $49, is bound to give a boost to the platform.The Due, which means 2 in Italian and is pronounced "doo-eh", replaces the 8-bit, 16MHz Uno by a 32-bit, 84MHz processor board that also has a range of new features — more memory, a USB port that allows it to pretend to be a mouse or a keyboard say, 54 I/O pins and so on — but what lets you do more with it is its speed and power. The heart of the new Arduino Due is the Atmel SAM3X8E, an ARM Cortex-M3-based processor, which gives it a huge boost in ADC performance, opening up possibilities for designers. The theoretical sampling rate has gone from the 15 ksps (kilosamples per second) of the existing boards, the Arduino Uno, Leonardo, and Mega 2560, to a whopping 1,000 ksps.
What this all means is that the Due can be used for much more sophisticated applications. It can even play back wav files without any help. Look out for the Due in projects that once would have needed something more like a desktop machine."

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - 203 Pols Blur Line Between Data Mining, Cyberstalking

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "They dig dig dig dig dig dig dig, datamining the whole day through. To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig is what they like to do. MotherJones reports on Obama's Digital Gurus, the top-secret team of analytics engineers and scientists led by hipster CTO Harper Reed who work on text analytics, social network/media analysis, web personalization, computational advertising, and online experiments & testing from the campaign's Chicago HQ and satellite offices. For OFA (Obama for America), writes Tim Murphy, there is no such thing as TMI (Too Much Information). 'In terms of just the sheer amount of data that political candidates have on you,' says UNC Prof Daniel Kreiss, 'I think everyone finds it creepy.' Still playing catch-up to OFA in its data efforts is Team Romney, which reportedly hired former employees from places like Google Analytics, Apple, Ominture, and Overstock.com in an attempt to reverse engineer the Obama campaign's strategy."
Education

+ - 225 Man saves Star Trek TNG Set, Will Put on Display->

Submitted by
ShadoCat
ShadoCat writes "This isn't the original set unfortunately (which was destroyed making the ST:Generations movie). This is one that Paramount created for display in 1991. Huston Huddleston saved the pieces of the set late 2011 when they were about to be trashed by Paramount.

Huddleston and crew will be refitting the set with working displays and controls. They plan to host parties and educational events in the set which, apparently, is big enough to hold a large number of students.

For safety though, I hope they add circuit breakers (a technology along with seat belts that seems to have been lost in the 25th century)."

Link to Original Source
Blackberry

+ - 170 Black Sheep Blackberry Blackballed by Business 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Nicole Perlroth writes that the BlackBerry, once proudly carried by the high-powered and the elite, has become a magnet for mockery and derision from those with iPhones and the latest Android phones. as Research in Motion clings to less than 5 percent of the smartphone market — down from a dominating 50 percent just three years ago. One of the first steps Marissa Mayer took as Yahoo’s newly appointed chief executive to remake the company’s stodgy image was to trade in employees’ BlackBerrys for iPhones and Androids and although BlackBerrys may still linger in Washington, Wall Street and the legal profession, in Silicon Valley they are as rare as a necktie. “I want to take a bat to it,” says Rachel Crosby who speaks about her BlackBerry phone the way someone might speak of an embarrassing relative. “You can’t do anything with it. You’re supposed to, but it’s all a big lie.” BlackBerry outcasts say that, increasingly, they suffer from shame and public humiliation as they watch their counterparts mingle on social networking apps that are not available to them, take higher-resolution photos, and effortlessly navigate streets — and the Internet — with better GPS and faster browsing. “BlackBerry users are like Myspace users,” sneers Craig Robert Smith, a Los Angeles musician. “They probably still chat on AOL Instant Messenger.”"
Wireless Networking

+ - 175 What causes degradation of wireless signals over time? 4

Submitted by acer123
acer123 (88528) writes "Lately I have replaced several home wireless routers because the signal strength has been found to be degraded. These devices, when new (2+ years ago) would cover an entire house. Over the years, the strength seems to decrease to a point where it might only cover one or two rooms. Of the three that I have replaced for friends, I have not found a common brand, age, etc. It just seems that after time, the signal strength decreases. I know that routers are cheap and easy to replace but I'm curious what actually causes this. I would have assumed that the components would either work or not work; we would either have a full signal or have no signal. I am not an electrical engineer and I can't find the answer online so I'm reaching out to you.

Can someone explain how a transmitter can /slowly/ go bad?"
Businesses

+ - 151 Salesforce.com's Benioff disses Windows 8, Oracle->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff is the latest to predict Windows 8 will be a disaster for Microsoft, but for a different reason than some others: he says that Windows is simply irrelevant in the new era of cloud computing and bring-your-own-devices (BYOD), which will become clear to corporate IT decision makers when they confront the upgrade decision. Of course, this conveniently dovetails with Salesforce's market position, so consider the source. Another interesting development is the growing rivalry between Benioff and his old boss Larry Ellison; Salesforce.com is a longtime Oracle shop, but they have just announced intentions to hire 40-50 PostgreSQL developers."
Link to Original Source
Verizon

+ - 177 Internet providers to begin warning customers who pirate content->

Submitted by
beltsbear
beltsbear writes "Welcome to the future that you warned us about.

Starting soon Verizon, Comcast and others will work with the Center for Copyright Information to reduce piracy. Customers thought to be pirating will receive alerts.

  "The progressive series of alerts is designed to make consumers aware of activity that has occurred using their Internet accounts, educate them on how they can prevent such activity from happening again,"
If a customer feels they are being wrongly accused, they can ask for a review, which will cost them $35 according to the Verge."

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - 133 Smartphone Mugging Is More Popular Than Ever->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "By Eric Limer: When you get a flashy, fancy new phone, of course you're going to want to use it, but you better be careful how and where; new reports show smartphone theft is getting super popular . You might say this is a good reason to keep it in your pants. The problem is most prevalent, and getting worse the fastest, in urban areas. The Associated Press reports that smartphone robberies now account for nearly half of all robberies in San Francisco, as well as an impressive 40 percent here in New York City. And the numbers aren't just high, they're getting higher fast. In Los Angeles, smartphone robberies are up 27 percent from last year, with no signs of slowing down. The thefts come in all varieties as well. Victims have reported having their phones—iPhones in particular (surprise!)—yanked out of their hands while talking, snatched just as public transit reaches a stop, or even taken at gunpoint. Gunpoint. There are all kinds of plans to combat the problem by requiring liscense to sell second hand phones, or start a national stolen phone database, but the best defense is to just be smart. Don't flash that thing around when you can avoid it and hold on tight. And it won't keep it from getting stolen, but back that sucker up just in case; it'll soften the blow. Whatever you do, be careful. That's a lot of money in your pocket."
Link to Original Source
Cellphones

+ - 196 Mobile Phone Use Linked To Tumor->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "ROME (Reuters) —Italy’s supreme court has upheld a ruling that said there was a link between a business executive’s brain tumor and his heavy mobile phone usage, potentially opening the door to further legal claims. The court’s decision flies in the face of much scientific opinion, which generally says there is not enough evidence to declare a link between mobile phone use and diseases such as cancer and some experts said the Italian ruling should not be used to draw wider conclusions about the subject. “Great caution is needed before we jump to conclusions about mobile phones and brain tumors,” said Malcolm Sperrin, director of medical physics and clinical engineering at Britain’s Royal Berkshire Hospital. The Italian case concerned company director Innocenzo Marcolini who developed a tumor in the left side of his head after using his mobile phone for 5-6 hours a day for 12 years. He normally held the phone in his left hand, while taking notes with his right hand. Marcolini developed a so-called neurinoma affecting a cranial nerve, which was apparently not cancerous but nevertheless required surgery that badly affected his quality of life. He initially sought financial compensation from the Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority INAIL which rejected his application, saying there was no proof his illness had been caused by his work. But a court in Brescia later ruled there was a causal link between the use of mobile and cordless telephones and tumors. Italy’s supreme court rejected an INAIL appeal against that ruling on October 12 though its decision was only reported on Friday. It said the lower court’s decision was justified and that scientific evidence advanced in support of the claim was reliable. Marcolini’s situation had been “different from normal, non-professional use of a mobile telephone,” it said. The evidence was based on studies conducted between 2005-2009 by a group led by Lennart Hardell, a cancer specialist at the University Hospital in Orebro in Sweden. The court said the research was independent and “unlike some others, was not co-financed by the same companies that produce mobile telephones.”"
Link to Original Source
Australia

+ - 224 Facebook Won't Take Down Undercover Cop Page in Australia->

Submitted by
jaa101
jaa101 writes "Facebook has refused a request from Australian police to take down a page with details of undercover police vehicles saying saying it cannot stop people taking photos in public places. The original story is at http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/facebook-page-reveals-details-of-unmarked-police-cars/story-e6frf7kx-1226499939251 (paywall) but it doesn't give a link to the relevant page which seems to be at https://www.facebook.com/pages/VIC-Undercover-Police-Cars/131769163636069?ref=ts&fref=ts . This page for the state of Victoria has 12000 likes but a similar page for the state of Queensland has over 34000 at https://www.facebook.com/pages/QLD-undercover-police-cars/173981759325151?ref=ts&fref=ts and there are other Australian pages too."
Link to Original Source

+ - 242 U.S. Boys hitting puberty up to two years earlier: study->

Submitted by
SternisheFan
SternisheFan writes "Boys in the US are hitting puberty as much as two years earlier than in previous decades, according to a new study out Saturday from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study suggests a well-documented trend seeing girls hit adolescence earlier than their historic counterparts has been mirrored among boys. However, the authors said the causes of change, or what it could mean for public health, remain unclear. African-American boys were generally the earliest to start puberty, with boys as young as nine years old showing signs of maturation, according to data on more than 4,000 boys in 41 states, provided by their pediatricians' offices. Non-Hispanic whites were next, with the average age of puberty onset coming at just over 10 years old, while Hispanic boys hit puberty on average a few months later, at just under 10 and a half. The ages were calculated based on when the pediatricians saw "stage two genital and pubic hair growth." "Following changes in growth and development is an important part of assessing the health of the nation's children," said study author Marcia Herman-Giddens in a statement. But this kind of data, laying out the ages that boys hit puberty in modern America, had previously been unavailable. "All parents need to know whether their sons are maturing within the contemporary age range, but, until now, this has not been known for US boys," said Richard Wasserman, director of the AAP's practice-based research network. The study, to be printed in next month's edition of the journal "Pediatrics" was put online Saturday to coincide with an AAP conference in New Orleans."
Link to Original Source
Transportation

+ - 182 A $20 Cardboard Bicycle Could Revolutionize World's Transportation 1

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens writes
Hugh Pickens writes writes "Reuters reports that a bicycle made almost entirely of cardboard designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit that would be sold for about $20 has the potential to change transportation habits from the world's most congested cities to the poorest reaches of Africa. "In six months we will have completed planning the first production lines for an urban bike which will be assisted by an electric motor, a youth bike which will be a 2/3 size model for children in Africa, a balance bike for youngsters learning to ride, and a wheelchair that a non-profit organization wants to build with our technology for Africa," says Nimrod Elmish. The bicycles are not only very cheap to make, but at 20 pounds they are very light and do not need to be adjusted or repaired, the solid tires that are made of reconstituted rubber from old car tires will never get a puncture. "These bikes need no maintenance and no adjustment, a car timing belt is used instead of a chain, and the tires do not need inflating and can last for 10 years," says Elmish adding that the bicycles will be so cheap, it hardly matters how long they last. "So you buy one, use it for a year and then you can buy another one, and if it breaks, you can take it back to the factory and recycle it." Cardboard, made of wood pulp, was invented in the 19th century as sturdy packaging for carrying other more valuable objects, it has rarely been considered as raw material for things usually made of much stronger materials, such as metal. Inventor Izhar Gafni spent years figuring out how to make cardboard strong enough to support a human. The trick was bending and gluing the cardboard in such a way that it becomes strong like a piece of wood. In a video, Gafni describes the process as a type of origami, and demonstrates how his cardboard is strong enough to support a car. As in crafting origami and tearing telephone books, Gafni explains, “[if] you fold it once, and it’s not just twice the strength, it’s three times the strength.”"

The algorithm for finding the longest path in a graph is NP-complete. For you systems people, that means it's *real slow*. -- Bart Miller

Working...