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Security

US Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of Cyberattacks 292

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
SternisheFan writes in with this Times article about more trouble brewing between the U.S. and Iran. "American intelligence officials are increasingly convinced that Iran was the origin of a serious wave of network attacks that crippled computers across the Saudi oil industry and breached financial institutions in the United States, episodes that contributed to a warning last week from Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta that the United States was at risk of a 'cyber-Pearl Harbor.' After Mr. Panetta's remarks on Thursday night, American officials described an emerging shadow war of attacks and counterattacks already under way between the United States and Iran in cyberspace. Among American officials, suspicion has focused on the 'cybercorps' that Iran's military created in 2011 — partly in response to American and Israeli cyberattacks on the Iranian nuclear enrichment plant at Natanz — though there is no hard evidence that the attacks were sanctioned by the Iranian government. The attacks emanating from Iran have inflicted only modest damage. Iran's cyberwarfare capabilities are considerably weaker than those in China and Russia, which intelligence officials believe are the sources of a significant number of probes, thefts of intellectual property and attacks on American companies and government agencies."
Education

Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids? 338

Posted by samzenpus
from the starting-them-early dept.
First time accepted submitter pseudorand writes "I have a 3 year old that I've so far kept away from TV and computers. I met a gamer who has a 1 year old that plays xbox (probably better than I do). I believe kids should experience the real world first, but computers will obviously be a basic job still for the foreseeable future and I'm afraid I'm letting my kid fall behind. I'd like to responsibly introduce my son to computers so he can start developing hard-eye coordination, typing skills and learning UI concepts. What's the best (Linux, of course) game to get a kid started with? Shoot-em-up's are obviously out, but I'm more concerned with something that will help him understand how to interact with a mouse, keyboard and screen and hold his attention rather than something 'educational' because there's plenty of (probably more effective) ways to teach math, reading, etc. that don't involve a computer. So far I've tried Tux Racer, which held his attention for 10 minutes or so. He doesn't quite get pressing multiple keys simultaneously yet."
Space

The Tech Behind Felix Baumgartner's Stratospheric Skydive 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the show-me-the-gadgets dept.
MrSeb writes "Felix Baumgartner has successfully completed his stratospheric skydive from 128,000 feet (39km), breaking a record that was set 52 years ago by Air Force Captain Joe Kittinger — that much we know. From the balloon, to the capsule, to the gear that Baumgartner wore during his 730 mph (1174 kph) free fall, the technology behind the scenes is impressive, and in some cases bleeding edge. ExtremeTech takes a deep dive into the tech that kept Baumgartner alive during the three-hour ascent and (much shorter) descent — and the tech that allowed us to watch every moment of the Red Bull Stratos mission live, as captured by no less than 15 digital cameras and numerous other scientific instruments."
NASA

Endeavour Arrives At California Science Center 57

Posted by samzenpus
from the home-sweet-home dept.
The final mission of the Endeavour has been completed. The shuttle has arrived at its final home, the California Science Center. From the article: "After a dramatic three-day parade through city streets, Endeavour arrived at its new home at the California Science Center shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday amid cheers from thousands gathered to witness a piece of history. 'Mission 26 — Mission Accomplished,' Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference at Exposition Park, the shuttle rising behind him as a backdrop. The mayor was referencing the shuttle’s 25 space missions and its journey across the city. The 85-ton orbiter pulled up next to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and ground to a halt so that the mayor and others could officially mark its arrival at the park near the USC campus. 'Today everyone in the city of Los Angeles is an astronaut,' said L.A. Fire Department Chief Brian Cummings at the news conference."
Facebook

How Facebook Can Out Your Most Personal Secrets 467

Posted by samzenpus
from the mind-your-own-business dept.
McGruber writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook revealed the sexual preferences of users despite those users have chosen 'privacy lock-down' settings on Facebook. The article describes two students who were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook—the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both students were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents. Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes responded with a statement blaming the users: 'Our hearts go out to these young people. Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls.'"
Privacy

Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns 533

Posted by samzenpus
from the staying-off-the-list dept.
An anonymous reader writes "An interesting case touching on privacy in the Internet age has erupted in Kennebunk, Maine, the coastal town where the Bush family has a vacation home. When a fitness instructor who maintained a private studio was arrested for prostitution, she turned out to have maintained meticulous billing records on some 150 clients, and had secretly recorded the proceedings on video files stored in her computer. Local police have begun issuing summons to her alleged johns, and have announced intentions to publish the list, as is customary in such cases. Police believe such publication has a deterrent effect on future incidents of the kind. However, the notoriety of the case has some, including newspaper editors, wondering whether the lives of the accused johns may be disproportionately scarred (obtaining or keeping a job, treatment of members of their families within the community) for a the mere accusation of having committed a misdemeanor. Also, the list of names will be permanently archived and indexed by search engines essentially forever."
Books

Amazon Kindle eBook Users To Get Refunds After Settlement 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-some-cash dept.
hypnosec writes "Amazon, in an email to Kindle owners, has a revealed that following the settlement in the eBook price fixing lawsuit customers will be entitled to refunds between 30 cents and $1.32 on each book purchased. If the $69 million settlement is approved, the funds will be provided as credits to customers directly in their accounts. Users may request checks for the amount of credit that has been applied to their accounts. 'If the Court approves the settlements, the account credit will appear automatically and can be used to purchase Kindle books or print books,' wrote Amazon in the email."
Moon

A Supercomputer On the Moon To Direct Deep Space Traffic 166

Posted by samzenpus
from the red-moon-green-moon dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "NASA currently controls its deep space missions through a network of 13 giant antennas in California, Spain and Australia known as the Deep Space Network (DSN) but the network is obsolete and just not up to the job of transmitting the growing workload of extra-terrestrial data from deep space missions. That's why Ouliang Chang has proposed building a massive supercomputer in a deep dark crater on the side of the moon facing away from Earth and all of its electromagnetic chatter. Nuclear-powered, it would accept signals from space, store them, process them if needed and then relay the data back to Earth as time and bandwidth allows. The supercomputer would run in frigid regions near one of the moon's poles where cold temperatures would make cooling the supercomputer easier, and would communicate with spaceships and earth using a system of inflatable, steerable antennas that would hang suspended over moon craters, giving the Deep Space Network a second focal point away from earth. As well as boosting humanity's space-borne communication abilities, Chang's presentation at a space conference (PDF) in Pasadena, California also suggests that the moon-based dishes could work in unison with those on Earth to perform very-long-baseline interferometry, which allows multiple telescopes to be combined to emulate one huge telescope. Best of all the project has the potential to excite the imagination of future spacegoers and get men back on the moon."
Science

Complex Logic Circuit Made From Bacterial Genes 37

Posted by samzenpus
from the feeding-the-machine dept.
another random user writes "Just as electronic circuits are made from resistors, capacitors and transistors, biological circuits can be made from genes and regulatory proteins. Engineer Tae Seok Moon's dream is to design modular 'genetic parts' that can be used to build logic controllers inside microbes that will program them to make fuel, clean up pollutants, or kill infectious bacteria or cancerous cells. The circuit Moon eventually built consisted of four sensors for four different molecules that fed into three two-input AND gates. If all four molecules were present, all three AND gates turned on and the last one produced a reporter protein that fluoresced red, so that the operation of the circuit could be easily monitored."
Idle

Felix Baumgartner's Supersonic Skydive Attempt 271

Posted by samzenpus
from the go-ahead-and-jump dept.
First time accepted submitter madcarrots writes "The Red Bull Stratos space jump is about to take place. The balloon is filling up and launch is expected around 10 AM MDT. Check out the live feed of the inflation process... it's beautiful!" After some delays it looks like the jump is finally going to happen. UPDATE: The jump was a success. Baumgartner is on the ground and apparently fine.
Censorship

The Surprising Truth About Internet Censorship In the Middle East 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-as-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Internet censorship is common in conservative majority-Muslim countries, but it may have more to do with politics and technology than with religion. I.e., Iran is not so different from Cuba and China. From the article: 'in an attempt to uncover the various reasons — and ways — that countries clamp down on Internet freedoms, the U.S.-based watchdog Freedom House investigated the issue in 47 nations and released a study of its findings this year. Employing a number of factors ranging from blogger arrests to politically motivated website blockades, the study ranked each country according to its degree of online freedom. And, as it happens, Islamic countries do not stand out for their degree of censorship.'"
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Dedicating Code? 186

Posted by samzenpus
from the this-one's-for-you dept.
First time accepted submitter The_Buse writes "This week I lost my grandmother and after returning to work (as a web developer) I find myself looking for some way to dedicate something to her memory. Unfortunately, I'm no author so I can't dedicate a book to her, and I can't carry a tune so penning a song in her honor is out of the question. What I can do is write one hell of a web app, and after nearly a year of development my (small) team and I are nearing the release date of our next product. My question is, have you ever dedicated a project/app/code in honor of someone? What's the best way to do it: comment blocks in the header, tongue-in-cheek file names, Easter eggs? Or is this a horrible idea all together?"
Space

Black Hole's "Point of No Return" Found 130

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-coming-back dept.
dsinc writes "Using a continent-spanning telescope, an international team of astronomers has peered to the edge of a black hole at the center of a distant galaxy. For the first time, they have measured the black hole's 'point of no return' — the closest distance that matter can approach before being irretrievably pulled into the black hole. According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, a black hole's mass and spin determine how close material can orbit before becoming unstable and falling in toward the event horizon. The team was able to measure this innermost stable orbit and found that it's only 5.5 times the size of the black hole's event horizon. This size suggests that the accretion disk is spinning in the same direction as the black hole. The observations were made by linking together radio telescopes in Hawaii, Arizona, and California to create a virtual telescope called the Event Horizon Telescope, or EHT. The EHT is capable of seeing details 2,000 times finer than the Hubble Space Telescope."
Businesses

Flip This App: Secondary Mobile App Market Quietly Taking Off 39

Posted by samzenpus
from the second-hand-lines dept.
alphadogg writes "The practice of flipping is probably most familiar to the general public from reality TV shows like 'Flip This House' on A&E. The idea is to buy a house for a lowish price, fix it up a bit, and then sell it on to a buyer, hopefully at a profit. Now, the secondary market for Android and iOS apps is beginning to see the same pattern. App creators without the time or inclination to service or monetize their apps can simply sell them off for a flat, up-front sum of money. Buyers can then either tweak them as they like or not, and either attempt to monetize them themselves or re-sell the apps to still another party. 'Probably 80% of people who want to get involved in mobile either don't know how to code an app or don't know an app developer,' says the founder of one app trading site. 'So there's this massive demand, but kind of a little bit of a barrier to entry.'"
Transportation

As Gas Prices Soar So Does City Biking 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-vicious-cycle dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "As California's gas prices hit record highs, the millions of dollars spent in recent years on commuter bike lanes and public transportation projects in Los Angeles, San Francisco and other major cities are being seen in a new light by many drivers. Jason Dearen reports that San Francisco is seeing a 71-percent increase in cyclists in the past five years, and Los Angeles is reporting a 32 percent increase from 2009-2011. Both findings gibe with the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey, which found a 63 percent increase in bicycle commuters from 2000 to 2010 in the nation's 70 largest cities. 'In some ways it's a perfect storm of events that is starting to take place,' says Claire Bowin, head of policy planning for Los Angeles' planning department. Getting people out of cars 'is a very daunting task, but on other hand we have largely benefited from a growing community here that is demanding these things.' Los Angeles is building almost 1,600 miles of bike infrastructure (PDF) over the next five years. Los Angeles County's Metrolink, which features open train cars for bike riders is seeing record ridership. Changing attitudes about cars — caused by climate change — are helping these efforts as people in their twenties and thirties have adopted biking in larger numbers than previous generations (PDF)."

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