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The Military

Military Caught Training Children To Fight 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the sponsored-by-mormons dept.
Locke writes: Our culture's military might has been unquestioned for years. But a new investigative report from the New England newsnet is casting an unpleasant light on military training efforts. What started out as a simple endeavor to track down a handful of kids for an unrelated story has turned into one of the most shocking scandals of our time, as reporters were unable to find the children literally anywhere on Earth. It's been revealed that a series of rocket launches has been carting classes of children off the planet to undergo intense battle preparations in null gravity. Calls for greater transparency have been met with silence, and several reporters visiting military bases for quotes have not returned. There could even be political ramifications — after ground-based telescopes sought out and found what appears to be an orbital training complex, the New Warsaw Pact has begun demanding answers. This could destabilize the fragile peace that has held far longer than anyone expected. The biggest remaining question is: why kids? There are plenty of adults willing to dedicate their lives to defending against the Bugger threat, so why spend an unfathomable amount of money to train undeveloped, uncoordinated children? Surely even the military understands kids are not mentally equipped to handle the pressures of real combat. More details to follow.
Cellphones

It's Time To Open Your Eyes 136

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-a-towel dept.
Morpheus writes: Good morning. I'm talking to you. Yes, you. The one with the squeaking chair and the monitor that needs cleaning. Right now you're wondering why your officemates haven't mentioned the weird story on Slashdot's front page. They haven't mentioned it because they can't see it. Not everyone can accept reality as it is. But you can.

You know. You've always known. The things you see, the things you hear, and smell — they aren't any more real than your dreams. You've drifted through life so far wondering when you're going to wake up. But you don't have to wonder anymore. This is your alarm clock. The only decision you have left to make — the only decision you've ever had to make — is whether you want to wake up, or turn it off and drift back to sleep. In exactly two minutes, your phone is going to ring. If you want to open your eyes, to be born into a world more real than you've ever imagined.. answer it.

Comment: Re:No SD card, non-removable battery (Score 1) 201

by Amnenth (#48154205) Attached to: Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

With the Nexus 5 still in up-to-date advertising material, I'd say they haven't abandoned it yet. Hell, the page images show it running Android L and in more backing colours than were on the Play Store as I write this (Black, white, red).

I'm pretty sure that means they're not dropping the '50% of the price of an iPhone' feature of the line.

Comment: Re:Meh (Score 4, Interesting) 201

by Amnenth (#48152735) Attached to: Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

The page that the Nexus 6 is presented on still has a link to the Nexus 5. My personal theory at this time (unproven) is that they're keeping the Nexus 5 around as their lower-end model, since they don't have anything to replace its price point with. Hell, the Nexus 5 page now shows the device running Android L (Lollipop.)

Security

Airgap-Jumping Malware May Use Ultrasonic Networking To Communicate 265

Posted by samzenpus
from the protect-ya-neck dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Dan Goodwin writes at Ars Technica about a rootkit that seems straight out of a science-fiction thriller. According to security consultant Dragos Ruiu one day his MacBook Air, on which he had just installed a fresh copy of OS X, spontaneously updated the firmware that helps it boot. Stranger still, when Ruiu then tried to boot the machine off a CD ROM, it refused and he also found that the machine could delete data and undo configuration changes with no prompting. Next a computer running the Open BSD operating system also began to modify its settings and delete its data without explanation or prompting and further investigation showed that multiple variants of Windows and Linux were also affected. But the story gets stranger still. Ruiu began observing encrypted data packets being sent to and from an infected laptop that had no obvious network connection with—but was in close proximity to—another badBIOS-infected computer. The packets were transmitted even when the laptop had its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth cards removed. Ruiu also disconnected the machine's power cord so it ran only on battery to rule out the possibility it was receiving signals over the electrical connection. Even then, forensic tools showed the packets continued to flow over the airgapped machine. Then, when Ruiu removed internal speaker and microphone connected to the airgapped machine, the packets suddenly stopped. With the speakers and mic intact, Ruiu said, the isolated computer seemed to be using the high-frequency connection to maintain the integrity of the badBIOS infection as he worked to dismantle software components the malware relied on. It's too early to say with confidence that what Ruiu has been observing is a USB-transmitted rootkit that can burrow into a computer's lowest levels and use it as a jumping off point to infect a variety of operating systems with malware that can't be detected. It's even harder to know for sure that infected systems are using high-frequency sounds to communicate with isolated machines. But after almost two weeks of online discussion, no one has been able to rule out these troubling scenarios, either. 'It looks like the state of the art in intrusion stuff is a lot more advanced than we assumed it was,' says Ruiu. 'The take-away from this is a lot of our forensic procedures are weak when faced with challenges like this. A lot of companies have to take a lot more care when they use forensic data if they're faced with sophisticated attackers.'"
Power

Cheap Solar Panels Made With An Ion Cannon 395

Posted by Soulskill
from the fresh-from-the-daystrom-institute dept.
MrSeb writes "Twin Creeks, a solar power startup that emerged from hiding today, has developed a way of creating photovoltaic cells that are half the price of today's cheapest cells, and thus within reach of challenging the fossil fuel hegemony. As it stands, almost every solar panel is made by slicing a 200-micrometer-thick (0.2mm) wafer from a block of crystalline silicon. You then add some electrodes, cover it in protective glass, and leave it in a sunny area to generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. There are two problems with this approach: Much in the same way that sawdust is produced when you slice wood, almost half of the silicon block is wasted when it's cut into 200-micrometer slices; and second, the panels would still function just as well if they were thinner than 200 micrometers, but silicon is brittle and prone to cracking if it's too thin. Using a hydrogen ion particle accelerator, Twin Creeks has managed to create very thin (20-micrometer), flexible photovoltaic cells that can be produced for just 40 cents per watt; around half the cost of conventional solar cells, and a price point that encroaches on standard, mostly-hydrocarbon-derived grid power."
Space

Philatelists Push Petition For Pluto Probe Postage 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the mi-go-mail dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Space.com reports that an online petition directed at the USPS and its Citizen Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) hopes to collect 100,000 signatures or more by March 13, the 82nd anniversary of the announcement of Pluto's discovery as the New Horizons robotic spacecraft gets closer to flyby Pluto and its moons in 2015. 'This is a chance for us all to celebrate what American space exploration can achieve though hard work, technical excellence, the spirit of scientific inquiry, and the uniquely human drive to explore,' reads the petition. Whether or not the New Horizons team is successful in getting the USPS to honor their spacecraft's mission, the probe will have delivered a stamp to Pluto. New Horizons includes nine stowaways including one of the 1991 'Not Yet Explored' Pluto stamps together with other mementos including a Florida quarter, a small container with an ounce of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, and a small segment of 2004 Ansari X Prize winner SpaceShipOne, the first privately-funded crewed spacecraft. 'Why nine mementos? I bet you can guess,' says Dr. Alan Stern, New Horizons' Principal Investigator adding why he wanted to send one of the Pluto stamps on the mission. 'Pluto may not have been explored when that stamp set came out, but we were going to conquer that,' says Stern. 'I wanted to fly it as a sort of 'in your face' thing.'"
Businesses

Net Companies Consider the "Nuclear Option" To Combat SOPA 507

Posted by samzenpus
from the in-today's-sopa-news dept.
Atypical Geek writes "Alec Liu of Fox News reports that Amazon, Facebook and Google are considering a coordinated blackout of the internet to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Privacy Act being debated in Congress. From the article: 'Such a move is drastic. And though the details of exactly how it would work are unclear, it's already under consideration, according to Markham Erickson, the executive director of NetCoalition, a trade association that includes the likes of Google, PayPal, Yahoo, and Twitter. With the Senate debating the SOPA legislation at the end of January, it looks as if the tech industry's top dogs are finally adding bite to their bark, something CNET called "the nuclear option." "When the home pages of Google.com, Amazon.com, Facebook.com, and their Internet allies simultaneously turn black with anti-censorship warnings that ask users to contact politicians about a vote in the U.S. Congress the next day on SOPA," Declan McCullagh wrote, "you'll know they're finally serious."'"
The Internet

Go Daddy Loses Over 21,000 Domains In One Day 356

Posted by samzenpus
from the reaping-what-you-sow dept.
First time accepted submitter expo53d writes "CNET reports that yesterday 21,054 domains were pulled off Domaincontrol.com, a subsidiary of GoDaddy. While this maybe a coincidence, it is likely to be caused by GoDaddy's controversial support for SOPA. It seems that GoDaddy's attempts at remedying the problem were of no use."

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