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Submission + - Scope of FBI National Security Letters Revealed by Lifted Gag Order (

Advocatus Diaboli writes: One of the most striking revelations, Merrill said during a press teleconference, was that the FBI was requesting detailed cell site location information — cellphone tracking records — under the heading of “radius log” information. Traditionally, radius log refers to a user’s attempts to connect to a server or a DSL line — a sort of anachronism given the progress of technology. “The notion that the government can collect cellphone location information — to turn your cellphone into a tracking device, just by signing a letter — is extremely troubling,” Merrill said. The court ruling noted that the FBI is no longer requesting this type of information using NSLs, but wants to maintain the possibility of doing so in the future.

In the newly unredacted ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Victor Marrero wrote that the case “implicates serious issues, both with respect to the First Amendment and accountability of the government to the people.” According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, around 300,000 NSLs have been issued since 2001. By 2008, the Justice Department concluded that the FBI had been abusing its powers with NSLs, even after changing policies in 2006. “I feel vindicated today,” said Merrill. “But there’s a lot more work to be done.”

User Journal

Journal + - Journal: As the Path is Revealed, the Map Gets Bigger

I've been on the Data Science road for about 5 months. I initially became intrigued by the idea of Data Science on January 5th, 2015. This came about when I inquired about starting my master's degree in mathematics and was informed about a concentration in Data Science. "What is Data Science?" I wondered. So I started looking into it.

Here's my initial thought progression over time:

"I have no idea what that is"

"Sure looks trendy!"

Submission + - Google killing Chrome for 32-bit Linux (

BrianFagioli writes: "To provide the best experience for the most-used Linux versions, we will end support for Google Chrome on 32-bit Linux, Ubuntu Precise (12.04), and Debian 7 (wheezy) in early March, 2016. Chrome will continue to function on these platforms but will no longer receive updates and security fixes. We intend to continue supporting the 32-bit build configurations on Linux to support building Chromium. If you are using Precise, weâ(TM)d recommend that you to upgrade to Trusty", says Dirk Pranke, Software Engineer, Google.

Submission + - Of course, someone claims to own a patent covering many current HTTPS use cases

yoink! writes: According to an article in The Register, corporations big and small are coming under legal fire from CryptoPeak; the holder of the patent has claimed that the Elliptic Curve Cryptography methods/implementations used as part of the HTTPS protocol violates their intellectual property. Naturally, reasonable people disagree.

Submission + - Google to No Longer Support 32-bit Linux for Google Chrome

prisoninmate writes: Google announces that its Google Chrome web browser will no longer be available for 32-bit hardware platforms. Additionally, Google Chrome will no longer be supported on the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and Debian GNU/Linux 7 (Wheezy) operating systems. Users are urged to update to the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) release and Debian GNU/Linux 8 (Jessie) respectively. Google will continue to support the 32-bit build configurations for those who want to build the open-source Chromium web browser on various Linux kernel-based operating systems.

Submission + - Experimental Study of 29 Polyhedral Dice Using Rolling Machine, OpenCV Analysis (

enFi writes: All dice are slightly unfair; automating 3k rolls x 29 dice allows detailed exploration. For example: GameScience claims their d20s are fairest, and actually has the fairest die in the study. Chessex d20s are consistently mid-range and all favor the same numbers; Wiz Dice d20s are highly variable (some rival GameScience). Shape differences measurable with calipers account for some of the larger observed differences, but not everything. Read the details for graphs, a video of the Arduino-powered rolling machine, and an explanation of using OpenCV to sort die rolls.

(Disclaimer: I'm the author.)

Submission + - Sony Unlocks PlayStation 4's Previously Reserved Seventh CPU Core For Devs (

MojoKid writes: Toward the beginning of the year, it was revealed that Microsoft was going to "unlock" the seventh core on the Xbox One's processor, enabling developers to eke just a bit more performance out of the console and offer more flexibility at resource utilization. It appears that Microsoft's move would inevitably be followed by Sony, as reports are now coming in that this will be made available on the PlayStation 4 as well. This subtle change was highlighted in the latest changelog for the FMOD sound engine which is labeled as a "LowLevel API." While the unlocked core could take on FMOD duties if developers want it to, it's now not going to be tied to any single purpose. Developers could make use of this core, for example, to boost AI performance, or any other process that has a heavy computation requirement. It could also be used to simply help ease overall system load.

Submission + - Researchers Create Sodium Battery in Industry Standard "18650" Format (

Zothecula writes: A team of researchers in France has taken a major step towards powering our devices with rechargeable batteries based on an element that is far more abundant and cheaper than lithium. For the first time ever, a battery has been developed using sodium ions in the industry standard "18650" format used in laptop batteries, LED flashlights and the Tesla Model S, among other products.

Submission + - HTTP/2.0 Opens Every New Connection It Makes With The Word 'PRISM' (

An anonymous reader writes: British programmer and writer John Graham-Cumming has spotted what appears to be a 'code-protest' in the next generation of the hypertext protocol. Each new connection forged by the HTTP/2.0 protocol spells out the word 'PRISM' obliquely, though the word itself is obscured to the casual observer by coded returns and line-breaks. Work on the hidden message in HTTP/2.0 seems to date back to nine days after the Snowden revelations broke, with the final commit completed by July of 2013. In July 2013 one of the protocol's architects appealed to the development group to reconsider design principles in the light of the revelations about the NSA's worldwide surveillance program.

Submission + - Russian moon landing to take as many as six launches of advanced rocket (

MarkWhittington writes: Russia has made no secret of its desire to land cosmonauts on the lunar surface sometime in the late 2020s. As the United States, at least for the current administration, has decided to bypass the moon in favor of Mars, Russia could move to wipe out the humiliation it suffered at the hands of NASA when it lost the 1960s race to the moon with the landing of Apollo 11 on July 20, 1969. However, a story in TASS suggests that a Russian moon landing effort would be complex, requiring up to six launches of its Angara rocket.

Submission + - Italy Invests 150 Million Euros In Surveillance, With Emphasis on PS4 Comms (

An anonymous reader writes: Italian Minister of Justice Andrea Orlando has revealed that Italy is spending 150 million euros ($157mn) on new technology and staff to improve surveillance capabilities, and emphasised that the 'new instruments' (it's not clear whether this means new technology or new requisitions) will also target the Sony PlayStation network which fell under suspicion as a possible forum of organization for the Paris attacks (though no evidence was found to support this).

Submission + - Companies want to insert ads into Unicode

AmiMoJo writes: Food company Nestle has started a petition to get a KitKat emoji into the Unicode standard. They aren't alone, Taco Bell wants a taco emoji added, and Durex suggested adding a condom. While the latter two are at least generic, KitKat is a trademark of Nestle and the "break" image a key part of their marketing. Next year Unicode will include a faceplam emoji (U+1F926) for occasions such as this.

Submission + - MST3K Kickstarter about to break record (

the_Bionic_lemming writes: Recently Joel Hodgson, the creator of Mystery Science 3000 that had a successful run of over 197 shows has after 15 years launched a kickstarter to relaunch the series. Previous MST3K Is Kickstarting Back To Life, MST3K Successfully Crowdsources Its Comeback.
In just over two weeks Joel has been wildly successful in not only having over 25000 fans contribute, but actually scoring the second highest show kickstarter on record — he has just under two weeks to shoot past the Number 1 kickstarter, Veronica Mars.

Additionally , Joel had an eight year old girl write in during the long series run , and they did her letter on the air (something the fans loved — having their mail on the air) . A few days ago, Freezepop's Ashley (who was that 8 year old girl) sang a wonderful tribute with Joel for the Kickstarter .

Submission + - Diamond Nanothreads Could Support Space Elevator (

Taco Cowboy writes: Researchers in Penn State University discovered a way to produce ultra-thin diamond nanothreads that could be ideal for a space elevator

The team, led by chemistry professor John Badding, applied alternating cycles of pressure to isolated, liquid-state benzene molecules and were amazed to find that rings of carbon atoms assembled into neat and orderly chains

While they were expecting the benzene molecules to react in a disorganized way, they instead created a neat thread 20,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair but perhaps the strongest material ever made

Just recently, a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia modeled the diamond nanothreads using large-scale molecular dynamics simulations and concluded that the material is far more versatile than previously thought and has great promise for aerospace properties. The simulation was published in early November

Submission + - 3 Days to go for Star Trek Renegades Funding (

Shadyman writes: From the link: "The countdown for Star Trek Renegades Continues through Black Friday Weekend and Cyber Monday. We've reached $310,000, which is 88% of the goal with 3 Days to go. Help us bring this project over the finish line."

This Kickstarter will fund Epsiodes 2 and 3 of the fan-funded true-to-canon Star Trek series. The project needs $350,000 to be funded.

I don't want to advertise/spam up Slashdot, but I'm sure a canonical Trek is relevant to Slashdot's collective interest, and has been previously featured on this site.