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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).


+ - Jupiter destroyed 'super-Earths' in our early solar system->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "If Jupiter and Saturn hadn’t formed where they did—and at the sizes they did—as the disk of dust and gas around our sun coalesced, then our solar system would be a very different and possibly more hostile place, new research suggests. Computer models reveal that in the solar system’s first 3 million years or so, gravitational interactions with Jupiter, Saturn, and the gas in the protoplanetary disk would have driven super-Earth–sized planets closer to the sun and into increasingly elliptical orbits. In such paths, a cascade of collisions would have blasted any orbs present there into ever smaller bits, which in turn would have been slowed by the interplanetary equivalent of atmospheric drag and eventually plunged into the sun. As Jupiter retreated from its closest approach to the sun, it left behind the mostly rocky remnants that later coalesced into our solar system’s inner planets, including Earth."
Link to Original Source

+ - Southern California Edison Lays off 500 workers- replaces with H1B Visa workers.->

Submitted by Maxo-Texas
Maxo-Texas (864189) writes "California Edison workers are being laid off and replaced with Infosys H1B visa workers. They will be required to train their Infosys replacements in order to receive their severance pay and they will be required to sign NDA's in order to receive their full payment.

This violates the premise of H1B visa's-- that the workers are needed to fill jobs for which employees cannot be found. The story is being widely reported on conservative talk radio as well so this event may actually bridge the political gap and bring about bipartisan corrections to the H1B programs

Full details:

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server in a Crawlspace 4

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I've decided it's time for me to build a separate machine specifically for use as a Media Center/Small Home Server.
My wife and I haven't had cable TV in years, instead relying entirely on Netflix, other streaming sites, and hard copies we've bought over the years. Having just finished ripping our entire media collection (CDs, DVDs, and even our Vinyls and VHS with the help of a capture card and some sweet digital voodoo) to a couple HDDs, I'm feeling froggy. Up until now we've been using WDTV Live, and it's been pretty snazzy, but I want to upgrade to a dedicated media machine instead of piggybacking off of my office computer. It'll be a Windows based machine utilizing Plex, and it's going in the crawlspace of the house.

The crawlspace in question is unfinished, but I do have a dry concrete slab down there where I can put/mount/assemble something. Cooling won't be an issue obviously, and I am keeping a close eye on hardware specs with regards to moisture. It is still a crawlspace though...

My Question(s) being:
* What would be a good setup to to house the hardware? Priorities being to safeguard against moisture, vermin, and dirt.
          — Modified PC Tower?
          — Rack?
          — Build an enclosure?
          — Something I haven't considered?

Please assume I'm stubborn and absolutely dead-set on putting it in the crawlspace to avoid the discussion devolving into the "best" place to put a media machine. Any advice or ideas are very much appreciated, Thank you /."

Comment: Re:I voted "+" ..... (Score 1) 4

by Bomarc (#49286049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server in a Crawlspace
P.S. ... to monitor water/temp might consider something like a "APC AP9340 -- Environmental Manager Sensor Monitor" (or something similar). This particular model has a built in network switch, and can connect to a remote alarm and {Warning} light. There are others (more "modern" versions available); based on your need/budged.

Comment: I voted "+" ..... (Score 1) 4

by Bomarc (#49285955) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Building a Home Media Center/Small Server in a Crawlspace
#1: this is a good question (topic), worthy of discussion -- if it is kept on topic.

#2: In case it doesn't make it... my thoughts:
You talk about a concrete slab. That would act as a great thermal break -- keeping the head down. Unfortunately, as noted -- water is a concern (pipes). I had a crawlspace that I opened to a basement. (Note: DO NOT do as I do, just buy a house with a basement if you need one). In my "Basement" ...it is opened to the outside. I've had a couple servers down there for about 5 years, with no problems (located in Seattle, WA) with moisture. Dependent on humidity in your area, you millage will very. I would recommend a full on "server" - rack mount. You can get one for a decent price (eBay / craigslist) and if you spend a little extra, get one that still has support. Will full server... that would (potentially) include redundant everything. Run the OS with the manufactures diagnostic software, and if you have remote access (Dell DRAC for example) you can power the system up remotely. Raise the unit off the "floor" (vermin, water and the like). Floor thickness & insulation will impact chose of surround (white noise from the fans running). If the system is to loud for you, adding insulation (rocksol insulation wold be a good candidate). If vermin a concern, creating a custom "box" (with rocksol insulation) and a door / vents might be an option [Consider placing rat poison to keep those vermin that might attempt to enter at bay]. Might consider using this as a place to mount other appliances -- such as router, modem, net work switch -- for example. Make sure you can replace any wiring ... rats EAT the shielding on network (and TV) cable (First hand experience here -- they also eat the metal shielding on the @$%@ cables!).

+ - Drone operator caught flying between two news helicopters at above 1500 feet

Submitted by Bomarc
Bomarc (306716) writes "KIRO TV news in Seattle, WA is reporting an incident where a person was flying a drone above 1,500 feet, and near (between) two news helicopters. There is video footage of the drone and of the person flying his drone above and between the two news helicopters (reporting on a local fire). The 10 minute video includes clear images of the drone, the operator recovering it."

Comment: Re:"Illegal" drugs? (Score 1) 1080

by Bomarc (#49259057) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century
In court room....
Defense attorney: Did you test it for purity?
Cop/CSI: No
Defense attorney: Did you test to determine percentage of illegal substance?
Cop/CSI: No
Defense attorney: Can I borrow a bill from your wallet? (if necessary... Here, I'll let you keep one of mine.)
Defense attorney then runs water over bill into a small container. Then tests water for cocaine (80% chance that it will test positive)
Defense attorney: (several actions ... )
1. Move to suppress evidence as Cop/CSI is/has a (potential) conflict -- he has drugs on his person.
2. Move to suppress evidence as anyone including Cop/CSI has drugs on their person.
3. Move to suppress evidence as anyone including Cop/CSI has drugs on their person, as something as simple as a dollar bill from anyone can show drugs on their person, there must be a test or standard to show purity and quantity -- and show evidence that something other than contact with a dollar bill to needs be established before evidence can be entered. (this one is under the assumption of large distribution quantity)
....or any other such / similar action

Comment: "Illegal" drugs? (Score 1) 1080

by Bomarc (#49258469) Attached to: How To Execute People In the 21st Century
Not a big fan of execution (takes to long, cost to much, arbitrary application) ... however:
Why not use such drugs as cocaine, heroin and the like? There should be a good stock pile of it, they need to test the purity for trials, and when the when necessary dispose of it (the drugs). During the execution ... the perpetrator won't feel a thing ... and if they did, they wouldn't care about it.

+ - The Milky Way May be 50 Percent Bigger Than Thought-> 1

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "A ring-like filament of stars wrapping around the Milky Way may actually belong to the galaxy itself, rippling above and below the relatively flat galactic plane. If so, that would expand the size of the known galaxy by 50 percent and raise intriguing questions about what caused the waves of stars. Scientists used data collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to reanalyze the brightness and distance of stars at the edge of the galaxy. They found that the fringe of the disk is puckered into ridges and grooves of stars, like corrugated cardboard. “It looks to me like maybe these patterns are following the spiral structure of the Milky Way, so they may be related,” astronomer Heidi Newberg, with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, told Discovery News."
Link to Original Source

+ - Sugar industry shaped NIH agenda on dental research->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The sugar industry convinced the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) that studies that might persuade people to cut back on sugary foods should not be part of a national plan to fight childhood tooth decay, a new study of historical documents argues. The authors say the industry’s activities, which occurred more than 40 years ago, are reminiscent of the tobacco companies’ efforts to minimize the risks of smoking."
Link to Original Source

+ - Retro Overclocking: A Finnish overclocker pushes Celeron 300A to 721,17Mhz-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Celeron 300A was one of the most flexible processors of its time. Since then manufacturers have come a long way, but there was more to push when it comes to this beast from the from the late 90s. A Finnish overclocker, a founder of Muropaketti-forum, Sampsa Kurri broke what others have tried breaking multiple world records at the same time.

Mr. Kurri was able to reach astonishing 721,17Mhz using dry ice. The processor ran on ABit BE6-2 motherboard with 128mb of Mushkin High Performance Rev 3.0 memory. Windows XP was used as the operating system.

Even though, by today's standards, Celeron 300A might be obsolete, this overclock process and praparation was followed and read by thousands (as of 10th of March, the thread was read over 57000 times) proving the that there are still those of us who want to see how far we can be push the boundaries of technology.

Proof of results can be found from here: http://valid.canardpc.com/slx4...

Google translated article: https://translate.google.com/t...

( a request to Sampsa Kurri to translate the original article has been submitted)"

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask SD: How do you handle the discovery of a web site disclosing private data?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I recently discovered that a partner web site of a financial institution I do business with makes it trivially easy to view documents that do not belong to me. As in, change the document ID in a URL and view someone else's financial documents. This requires no authentication, only a document URL. (Think along the lines of an online rebate center where you upload documents including credit card statements.) I immediately called customer service and spoke with a perplexed agent who unsurprisingly didn't know what to do with my call. I asked to speak with a supervisor who took good notes and promised a follow-up internally. I asked for a return call but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, I still have private financial information I consider to be publicly available. I'm trying to be responsible and patient in my handling of this, but I am second guessing how to move forward if not quickly resolved. So, Slashdot, how would you handle this situation?"

+ - How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware? 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In light of recent revelations from Kaspersky Labs about the Equation Group and persistent hard drive malware, I was curious about how easy it might be to verify my own system's drives to see if they were infected. I have no real reason to think they would be, but I was dismayed by the total lack of tools to independently verify such a thing. For instance, Seagate's firmware download pages provide files with no external hash, something Linux distributions do for all of their packages. Neither do they seem to provide a utility to read off the current firmware from a drive and verify its integrity.

Are there any utilities to do such a thing? Why don't these companies provide such a thing to users? Has anyone compiled and posted a public list of known-good firmware hashes for the major hard drive vendors and models? This seems to be a critical hole in PC security.

I did contact Seagate support asking for hashes of their latest firmware; I got a response stating that '...If you download the firmware directly from our website there is no risk on the file be tampered with." [their phrasing, not mine]. Methinks somebody hasn't been keeping up with world events lately."

Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?