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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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+ - Hubble Discovers Quadruple Lensed Ancient Supernova->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "Astronomer Patrick Kelly, with the University of California Berkeley, and colleagues report this week about four different routes light from an ancient supernova took to reach the Hubble telescope after being deflected around an intervening elliptical galaxy. The phenomenon is known as an Einstein cross. “Basically, we get to see the supernova four times and measure the time delays between its arrival in the different images, hopefully learning something about the supernova and the kind of star it exploded from, as well as about the gravitational lenses,” Kelly said in a statement. The supernova will appear again in the next 10 years, as its light takes different paths around and through the gravitational lens."
Link to Original Source

+ - Apple, Google, Bringing Low-Pay Support Employees In-House->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "One of the knocks against Silicon Valley giants as "job creators" is that the companies themselves often only hire high-end employees; support staff like security guards and janitors are contracted out to staffing agencies and receive lower pay and fewer benefits, even if they work on-site full time. That now seems to be changing, with Apple and Google putting security gaurds on their own payroll."
Link to Original Source

Comment: No country wants a "citizen of convenience" (Score -1, Flamebait) 495

by BarbaraHudson (#49192831) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

Everyone is looking at money, money, money. Your financial situation can change overnight, invalidating all your assumptions.

Since the OP seems be be focused more on what's "convenient" and"financially the bast", he should set the example and renounce his own citizenship, because nobody wants a "citizen of convenience" who will just pull up stakes and abandon ship when the going gets tough.

+ - Anthem Blocking Federal Auditor from Doing Vulnerability Scans->

Submitted by chicksdaddy
chicksdaddy (814965) writes "File this one under "suspicious behavior." Anthem Inc., the Indiana-based health insurer has informed a federal auditor, the Office of Personnel Management, that it will not permit vulnerability scans of its network — even after acknowledging that it was the victim of a massive breach that leaked data on tens of millions of patients.

According to this article (http://www.healthcareinfosecurity.com/anthem-refuses-full-security-audit-a-7980/op-1), Anthem is citing "company policy" that prohibits third party access to its network in declining to let auditors from OPM's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conduct scans for vulnerable systems. OPM's OIG performs a variety of audits on health insurers that provide health plans to federal employees under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, or FEHBP. Insurers aren't mandated to comply — though most do.

This isn't Anthem's first time saying "no thanks" to the offer of a network vulnerability scan. The company also declined to let OIG scan its network in 2013. A partial audit report issued at the time (http://www.opm.gov/our-inspector-general/reports/2013/audit-of-information-systems-general-and-application-controls-at-wellpoint-inc-1a-10-00-13-012.pdf) warned that the company, then known as WellPoint, "provided us with conflicting statements" on issues related to information security, including Wellpoint's practices regarding regular configuration audits and its plans to shift to IBM's Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM) platform."

Link to Original Source

+ - Red Hat strips down for Docker->

Submitted by angry tapir
angry tapir (1463043) writes "Reacting to the surging popularity of the Docker virtualization technology, Red Hat has customized a version of its Linux distribution to run Docker containers. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Atomic Host strips away all the utilities residing in the stock distribution of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) that aren't needed to run Docker containers. Removing unneeded components saves on storage space, and reduces the time needed for updating and booting up. It also provides fewer potential entry points for attackers. (Product page is here.)"
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Should I let my kids become American citizens? 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear fellow Slashdotters,

Can you help me decide whether to allow my small daughter and son to become American citizens?

I am American and my partner is Swedish. We have both lived in Belgium for many years and have no plans to leave. I became a Belgian citizen some years ago and kept my American citizenship. My partner has both her original Swedish and now Belgian citizenship. We are not married. Instead we have a registered partnership, which is common in northern Europe, confers most of the benefits of marriage, and raises no eyebrows. However, the American government does not recognize such partnerships so in their eyes I am still single.

Generally, children of American citizens abroad automatically become American citizens themselves at birth. But our kids fall under an exception. Male American citizens who live abroad and have children out of wedlock with a non-citizen mother do not automatically transmit citizenship to their children unless they sign an “affidavit of support” promising to support their children until the age of 18. If you don’t sign before the child reaches 18, the child is not considered an American citizen. This has been upheld by two Supreme Court rulings (Nguyen v. INS and Flores-Villar v. United States). For legal beagles, the relevant statutes are 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409.

The kids have Swedish and Belgian citizenship. We could go down to the American consulate and get American citizenship for them any time, but I keep putting off the decision and I am not sure I want to do it at all. Sentimentally I would like the kids to have American citizenship, but there is really only one practical pro to it:

* American citizenship would allow them to live, work, or study in America more easily, if they choose, when they get older.

The cons:

* They would be immediately enmeshed in the U.S. tax bureaucracy, which would require them to file U.S. tax returns for life even if they never set foot in the U.S. This, as I know from experience, is a huge bother, even when you don’t owe anything.
* Sometimes they would owe U.S. tax, though, for example for capital gains, unearned income, and in some countries self-employment income.
* My son would have to register for the draft.
* The decision, once made, is difficult to back out of: renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship costs $2300 and a lot of paperwork.
* They can easily travel to the US for family visits as Belgian/Swedish citizens.
* There are lots of good universities in Europe. And if they really wanted to study in the U.S., it’s not too hard to do as a European.

What do you think I should do? The clock is ticking, and I find it hard to choose between the evil of not being able to be American if they choose, and the evil of unjust, lifelong pursuit by the IRS.

Yours sincerely,
A loyal Slashdotter.

Here are two good relevant links:
https://americansabroad.org/is...
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12..."

+ - Mars Had an Ocean, Scientists Say, Pointing to New Data->

Submitted by mdsolar
mdsolar (1045926) writes "After six years of planetary observations, scientists at NASA say they have found convincing new evidence that ancient Mars had an ocean.

It was probably the size of the Arctic Ocean, larger than previously estimated, the researchers reported on Thursday. The body of water spread across the low-lying plain of the planet’s northern hemisphere for millions of years, they said.

If confirmed, the findings would add significantly to scientists’ understanding of the planet’s history and lend new weight to the view that ancient Mars had everything needed for life to emerge."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google Gets Into Car Insurance Comparison Business in US->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Google has made it official: It’s getting into car insurance in the U.S.

The tech giant announced Thursday that it’s launching a new feature called “Google Compare for Auto Insurance.”

It’s a comparison shopping site that lets consumers compare rates from different insurance carriers.

The option to compare rates will pop up when a consumer searches on Google for “car insurance.”

At the outset, the service is available to California residents, but Google said it will expand to other states later this year.

Google already offers auto, travel and mortgage quotes in the United Kingdom.

It also operates a credit card comparison service in the U.S. under the “Google Compare” umbrella.

Several major U.S. insurance carriers are reportedly reluctant to work with Google. The tech giant does not list major carriers such as State Farm, GEICO, Progressive and Allstate among its current partners."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mozilla Follows In Sun's Faltering Footsteps

Submitted by snydeq
snydeq (1272828) writes "The trajectory of Mozilla, from the trail-blazing technologies to the travails of being left in the dust, may be seen as parallelling that of the now-defunct Unix systems giant. 'Mozilla has become the modern-day Sun Microsystems: While known for churning out showstopping innovation, its bread-and-butter technology now struggles.' The article goes on to mention Firefox's waning market share, questions over tooling for the platform, Firefox's absence on mobile devices, developers' lack of standard tools (e.g., 'Gecko-flavored JavaScript'), and relatively slow development of Firefox OS, in comparison with mobile incumbents."

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