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Submission + - Inside a Ransomware Money Machine (

tsu doh nimh writes: The FBI is warning that it's getting inundated with complaints from people taken in by ransomware scams that spoof the FBI and try to scare people into paying "fines" in lieu of going to jail for having downloaded kiddie porn or pirated content. looks inside a few of the scams in the FBI alert, and it turns out it only takes 1-3 percent of victims to pay up to make it seriously worth the fraudsters' while.

Submission + - Cherry MX mechanical keyboard switches compared (

crookedvulture writes: "Keyboards with mechanical key switches are enjoying a renaissance of sorts. They're prized by gamers, coders, and writers alike, and Cherry's MX switches are the most popular on newer models. There are MX blue, brown, black, and red switches, each with a different tactile feel and audible note. This comparison of four otherwise identical Rosewill keyboards details how each switch type feels and sounds, complete with audio recordings of the various colors in action. Recommended reading for anyone considering a mechanical keyboard or one of the Rosewills, which cost about $100. Looks like the removable USB cord on these particular models is prone to breakage."

Submission + - RIM to License BlackBerry OS 10 Says CEO (

hypnosec writes: Research in Motion is going to license its BlackBerry OS 10 to other smartphone manufacturers it has been revealed. Bloomberg has it from RIM CEO Thorsten Heins that BlackBerry OS 10 is nearing its final stages of testing and that the Canadian company is pondering over ways in which it can license the OS to other handset manufacturers. Built on QNX operating system, the BlackBerry OS 10 has been already delayed and early 2013 is the dubbed launch date of the OS. It seems that the obstacles behind integrating the operating system blocks have been overcome and BlackBerry OS 10 is finally coming together making it licensing-ready.

Submission + - Healthy Balance Between Work and Home Life? 1

An anonymous reader writes: I'm sure that this is a question asked many, many times of people on Slashdot, but a quick search didn't show anything. I recently began working full time at a call center and it is my first full time job. It's for a Fortune 500 company in the health care industry, and I work 9:00 AM through 6:00 PM. I have had a hard time being able to let go of problems at home to focus at work, and a hard time letting go of work at the end of the day to relax at home.

This has caused me to lose focus during the day at my job, of which I've been at for 3 months. My question is — do you, personally, oh dwellers of the cubicle, have any suggestions for striking a healthy balance between your work and home life, and do you find that what you do helps you relax while at home and focus while at work? I ask not only because I work directly with things that can help save peoples' lives (And thus, the less I do, the more patients go without care.) , but because I have been putting my personal relationships at a strain because of stress.

Preferably finding a way to fit some formal education (As my certification requires me to obtain Continuing Education credits to remain valid) would also be a great help. Thank you, slashdotters!

Submission + - Alternative to QR code uses NFC and rectennas (

An anonymous reader writes: The BBC reports researchers in Korea have developed a technology that can be used as a viable alternative to QR codes. Made of plastic and electronic ink the rectennas cost less than one penny each to produce and use the NFC standards for wireless radio communication to devices. They are seen as a cheap, easy to print and environmentally friendly way to overcome the limitations and inconvenience of QR codes, whose usage has greatly increased in the last few years.

Submission + - Martin Fleischmann, Seeker of Cold Fusion, Dead at 85 1

derekmead writes: Fleischmann, 85, passed away on August 3 at his home in England. A brilliant electrochemist, he’s left behind an oddly bifurcated legacy: one of hope that cold fusion could still be possible, and one of caution to researchers who think they’ve solved the equivalent of alchemy.

Fleischmann and Pons’s experiment is legendary: by dropping their cathode into water and running current through the system, the pair theorized that hydrogen atoms released by the water would then be absorbed by the palladium cathode. They further predicted that the loose hydrogen atoms would fuse with those in the palladium, releasing energy. They famously reported results that showed their jar water heating up far beyond what would be expected from the electrical input or from a chemical reaction, and thus they concluded that it must have been the result of nuclear activity. That assertion blew up in the media, with every major outlet reporting on it at the time. Unfortunately for the two, their results could never be replicated by outside sources.

An New York Times obituary explains the backlash thus: "One of the first hints that the news was too good to be true, skeptics said, was that both scientists were alive. Had there been as significant a nuclear reaction as they claimed, critics argued, they would have been killed by the radiation. Scientists around the world then tried, without success, to replicate the experiment. Panels for the American Physical Society and the federal Energy Department soon discredited their findings."

Submission + - The OS Installation From Hell ( 1

snydeq writes: "Deep End's Paul Venezia tells tale of a seemingly simple Solaris install that spiraled hopelessly out of control. 'As far as IT work goes, this was one of the simplest tasks you can face: install an OS. Yet it took nearly all day due to a series of unfortunate turns. It was the kind of day that makes you question your sanity,' Venezia writes. 'The task was extremely low profile. In order to support legacy SPARC-based code, an older Sun T2000 needed a fresh install of Solaris 10. This server would likely do next to nothing. It might service a log-in or two each month, as developers may want to check older code or test this and that. I figured it might take 15 minutes of actual effort to kick off a clean install from DVD and voilà — I could move on to more important duties. I mean, I've installed Solaris a million times. How long could it take? Little did I know.'"

Submission + - Why Do Women Get More Migraines than Men? (

sciencehabit writes: Migraines are a battle of the sexes that women might prefer not winning. Each year, roughly three times more women than men—up to 18% of all women—suffer from the debilitating headaches, as tallied by epidemiological surveys in Europe and the United States. A new brain imaging study may explain the divide: The brains of women with migraines appear to be built differently than those of their male counterparts.

Submission + - Landscape of Dead Bodies May Have Inspired First Mummies (

sciencehabit writes: Trekking through Chile's Atacama Desert 7000 years ago, hunter-gatherers known as the Chinchorro walked in the land of the dead. Thousands of shallowly buried human bodies littered the earth, their leathery corpses pockmarking the desolate surroundings. According to new research, the scene inspired the Chinchorro to begin mummifying their dead, a practice they adopted roughly 3000 years before the Egyptians embraced it.

Submission + - 1993 Film Predicts Google Glasses and iPads? (

itwbennett writes: "The AT&T Archive has released another film (this one from 1993) showing all sorts of imagined future technology — tablets, virtual reality, videoconferencing, virtual assistants, video phones on airplanes (because that wouldn't be at all irritating to your fellow passengers). Among the few significant differences between the predictions and today's technology: In the video everything works."

Submission + - Could you hack into Mars rover Curiosity? (

MrSeb writes: "NASA’s Curiosity rover has now been on the surface of Mars for just over a week. It hasn’t moved an inch after landing, instead focusing on orienting itself (and NASA’s scientists) by taking instrument readings and snapping images of its surroundings. The first beautiful full-color images of Gale Crater are starting to trickle in, and NASA has already picked out some interesting rock formations that it will investigate further in the next few days (pictures below). Over the weekend and continuing throughout today, however, Curiosity is attempting something very risky indeed: A firmware upgrade. This got me thinking: If NASA can transmit new software to a Mars rover that's hundreds of millions of miles away... why can't a hacker do the same thing? In short, there's no reason a hacker couldn't take control of Curiosity, or lock NASA out. All you would need is your own massive 230-foot dish antenna and a 400-kilowatt transmitter — or, perhaps more realistically, you could hack into NASA's computer systems, which is exactly what Chinese hackers did 13 times in 2011."
Open Source

Submission + - The open source technology behind Twitter (

caseyb89 writes: If it weren't for open source technology, you wouldn't be able to tweet. Chris Aniszczyk, Open Source Manager at Twitter, shares how open source is vital to Twitter's success. He states that using open source is a "no-brainer" for Twitter because it "allows us to customize and tweak code to meet our fast-paced engineering needs as our service and community grows." Twitter also established an open source office about a year ago to support a variety of open source organizations that are important to them. Aniszczyk will discuss Twitters open source usage in his keynote at LinuxCon.

Submission + - Monitoring weapons bans with social media (

Harperdog writes: "Kirk Bansak has a great article outlining a coming revolution in non-proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and bio-weapons, courtesy of smart phones and social media. Early theory on arms control foresaw "inspection by the people" as a promising method for preventing evasion of arms control and disarmament obligations and serves as a starting point for understanding "social verification." As Rose Gottemoeller recently stated: "[Cell phone-based] sensors would allow citizens to contribute to detecting potential treaty violations, and could build a bridge to a stronger private-public partnership in the realm of treaty verification." Exciting stuff for techies and activists."

Submission + - Red Hat Releases Preview Version of Open Stack Distribution (

hypnosec writes: Red Hat has announced the availability of a preview version of its OpenStack Distribution that would enable it to compete with the likes of Amazon which is considered one of the leaders in infrastructure-as-a-service cloud services. The enterprise Linux maker was a late entrant into the OpenStack world where players like Rackspace, HP and Internap have already made their mark. Through Red Hat’s OpenStack distribution enterprises can build and manage private, public as well as hybrid infrastructure-as-a-service clouds. These companies will not only be competing with the likes of Amazon but, will also be competing against themselves to get a bite out of the IaaS cloud. What started as a project has quickly developed into an open source solution that enables organizations to achieve performance, features and greater functionality from their private and / or public clouds. The announcement of OpenStack Foundation acted as a catalyst towards the fast paced development of the platform.