Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Note: You can take 10% off all Slashdot Deals with coupon code "slashdot10off." ×

Submission + - New technology can increase the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times->

chasm22 writes: Researchers at Oregon State University have invented a new technology that can increase the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information.

The system can potentially send data at up to 100 megabits per second. Although some current WiFi systems have similar bandwidth, it has to be divided by the number of devices, so each user might be receiving just 5 to 10 megabits per second, whereas the hybrid system could deliver 50-100 megabits to each user.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - $56,000 Speeding Ticket Issued Under Finland's System of Fines Based on Income

HughPickens.com writes: Joe Pinsker writes at The Atlantic that Finish businessman Reima Kuisla was recently caught going 65 miles per hour in a 50 zone in his home country and ended up paying a fine of $56,000. The fine was so extreme because in Finland, some traffic fines, as well as fines for shoplifting and violating securities-exchange laws, are assessed based on earnings—and Kuisla's declared income was €6.5 million per year. Several years ago another executive was fined the equivalent of $103,000 for going 45 in a 30 zone on his motorcycle. Finland’s system for calculating fines is relatively simple: It starts with an estimate of the amount of spending money a Finn has for one day, and then divides that by two—the resulting number is considered a reasonable amount of spending money to deprive the offender of. Then, based on the severity of the crime, the system has rules for how many days the offender must go without that money. Going about 15 mph over the speed limit gets you a multiplier of 12 days, and going 25 mph over carries a 22-day multiplier. Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland also have some sliding-scale fines, or “day-fines,” in place, but in America, flat-rate fines are the norm. Since the late 80s, when day-fines were first seriously tested in the U.S., they have remained unusual and even exotic.

Should such a system be used in the United States? After all, wealthier people have been shown to drive more recklessly than those who make less money. For example Steve Jobs was known to park in handicapped spots and drive around without license plates. But more importantly, day-fines could introduce some fairness to a legal system that many have convincingly shown to be biased against the poor. Last week, the Department of Justice released a comprehensive report on how fines have been doled out in Ferguson, Missouri. "Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs," it concluded. The first day-fine ever in the U.S. was given in 1988, and about 70 percent of Staten Island’s fines in the following year were day-fines. A similar program was started in Milwaukee, and a few other cities implemented the day-fine idea and according to Judith Greene, who founded Justice Strategies, a nonprofit research organization, all of these initiatives were effective in making the justice system fairer for poor people. “When considering a proportion of their income,people are at least constantly risk-averse. This means that the worst that would happen is that the deterrent effect of fines would be the same across wealth or income levels,” says Casey Mulligan. "We should start small—say, only speeding tickets—and see what happens."

Submission + - White House supports " Net Neutrality" in statement issued today.->

CapeDoryBob writes: The White House came out for net neutrality today, and is making recommendations to the FCC. The White House is opposing: throttling, blocking, and charges for preferential access and proposes regulation of internet service providers "like phone companies".

Republicans and lobbyists are salivating at the potential for distorted ads and fees, respectively. .

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Snowden leak exposes US plan to spy on foreign businesses for profit->

An anonymous reader writes: The document, published first by The Intercept on Friday this week, outlines tactics the American intelligence community may implement in the future in the event of certain scenarios, including one in which “the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips” in the year 2025.

In the event that the US may lose that advantage, the Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review’s final report reads in part, then “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means) and counterintelligence” could be undertaken by American agencies.

The document, classified as “secret” and supplied along with a trove of other files provided by Snowden,“is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies as they identify future threats to the US and lay out the actions the US intelligence community should take in response,” wrote Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept editor who wrote about the 32-page report this week.

Indeed, David Shredd, then the deputy director of national intelligence, opens the report by describing it as the results of a 10-month study conducted among experts from agencies, academia, think tanks and industry tasked with assessing the implications of the year 2025 for the American intelligence community, or IC.

“If one does not consider the long-range future, one will never cease to be surprised,” Shredd wrote. “QICR 2009 developed alternative future scenarios based on Global Trends 2025 to explore concepts and capabilities the IC may need to fulfill critical missions in support of US national security.”

The contents of the report, Shredd added, “does not purport that any one future will materialize, but rather outlines a range of plausible futures so that the IC can best posture itself to meet the range of challenges it may face.” Speaking to The Intercept, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said the report “is not intended to be, and is not, a reflection of current policy or operations.”

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, the DNI spokesperson, told Greenwald that “the United States — unlike our adversaries—does not steal proprietary corporate information to further private American companies’ bottom lines,” and that “the Intelligence Community regularly engages in analytic exercises to identify potential future global environments, and how the IC could help the United States Government respond.”

Nevertheless, the report contains potential plans of action that run counter to previous public admissions made by IC leaders.

“What we do not do, as we have said many times, is use our foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to—US companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line,” Greenwald quoted Director of National Intelligence James Clapper as saying previously.

“But asecret 2009 report issued by Clapper’s own officeexplicitly contemplates doing exactly that,” the journalist wrote this week.

“The IC would need the ability to access proprietary sources of information in permissive environments such as foreign universities, industry trade shows and government conferences,” part of the report reads. “This could include cooperating US students, professors and researchers reporting bits of non-public information that by themselves are not sensitive, but in aggregate could help the IC make inferences about breakthrough technological innovations. The key challenge would be working closely with the academic and scientific communities (which would include non-US persons), gaining trust and monitoring potential 'threats' while continuing to advance US scientific progress.”

According to the document, human spies and cyber operations alike have been considered as possible tools to implement if spying on foreign targets — and not just students and innovators, but entire research and development operations, as well—is needed to be done in 11 years’ time.

“In denied or more restrictive environments such as state-supported R&D centers, the IC would continue to apply human intelligence (HUMINT) tradecraft and employ HUMINT-enabled close access collection. This would include recruitment of sources and assets, and provision of appropriate technical means to acquire and exfiltrate sensitive information,” reads one part of the document.

Elsewhere, the document’s authors detail one end goal: “Technology acquisition by all means.”

“Exfiltrating intelligence from non-permissive environments will be crucial. A critical enabler would be covert communications with a negligible forward footprint. US intelligence officers and sensitive sources will need to move data in an unattributable and undetected way, sometimes from within commercial entities possessing great technical prowess and robust cyber and electronic security protective procedures. Although the likely advent of transnational, high-bandwidth wireless communications services will offer an environment with ‘lots to hide behind,’ it will also contain many highly competent, and potentially antagonistic, actors.”

An illustrate example included in part of the report provides exactly how such a hypothetical situation may play out: “The IC makes separate clandestine approaches to India and Russia to break up the partnership. It conducts cyber operations against research facilities in the two countries, as well as the intellectual ‘supply chain’ supporting these facilities. Finally, it assesses whether and how its findings would be useful to US industry.”

“Using covert cyber operations to pilfer ‘proprietary information’ and then determining how it ‘would be useful to US industry’ is precisely what the US government has been vehemently insisting it does not do,” Greenwald wrote, “even though for years it has officially prepared to do precisely that.”

Link to Original Source

Submission + - California blue whales rebound from whaling->

vinces99 writes: The number of California blue whales has rebounded to near historical levels, according to new research by the University of Washington, and while the number of blue whales struck by ships is likely above allowable U.S. limits, such strikes do not immediately threaten that recovery. This is the only population of blue whales known to have recovered from whaling – blue whales as a species having been hunted nearly to extinction.

Blue whales – nearly 100 feet in length and weighing 190 tons as adults – are the largest animals on Earth and the heaviest ever, weighing more than twice as much as the largest known dinosaur, the Argentinosaurus. They are an icon of the conservation movement and many people want to minimize harm to them, according to Trevor Branch, UW assistant professor of aquatic and fishery sciences.

“The recovery of California blue whales from whaling demonstrates the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management and conservation measures,” said Cole Monnahan, a UW doctoral student in quantitative ecology and resource management and lead author of a paper on the subject posted online Sept. 5 by the journal Marine Mammal Science. Branch and André Punt, a UW professor of aquatic and fisheries sciences, are co-authors.

California blue whales, most visible while feeding 20 to 30 miles off the California coast, range fom the equator to the Gulf of Alaska. Today they number about 2,200, according to monitoring by other research groups, which is likely about 97 percent of the historical levels.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - What Are the Most Confounding Features of Various Programming Languages?->

itwbennett writes: Every programming language has its own unique quirks, such as weird syntax, unusual functionality or non-standard implementations, things that can cause developers new to the language, or even seasoned pros, to scratch their heads in wonder (or throw their hands up in despair). ITworld's Phil Johnson has rounded up some of the WTFiest — from the + operator in JavaScript to the trigraphs in C and C++ and indentation level in Python. What programming language oddities cause you the most grief?
Link to Original Source

Submission + - NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program->

An anonymous reader writes: In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting, calls for continuous recording of all police activity have been loud and strenuous. Now, one of the biggest police forces in the world will begin testing body cameras. The New York Police Department announced a pilot program to test the wearable cameras in high-crime districts. "[T]he participation of the New York department, with its 35,000 uniformed members and vast footprint on the country’s policing policy, could permanently shift the balance in favor of the cameras, which both civil libertarians and many police chiefs have cited as a way to improve relations between citizens and law enforcement, particularly in heavily policed minority communities." The NYPD will be testing hardware from two manufacturers: Vievu and Taser International. While the 60-camera pilot program will get running for about $60,000, IT costs are expected to quickly outstrip that amount.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Koch Brothers' backed group says US constitution is a Marxists agenda->

sfcrazy writes: Koch Brothers' backed American Commitment Group is sending out emails to people saying that the US constitution is a Communist and Marxist agenda and it was the first step in the fight to destroy American Capitalism altogether. In an email received by one of our journalists, American Commitment president Phil Kerpen suggests that protecting people's rights was the "first step in the fight to destroy American capitalism altogether" and says that the federal government has been plotting a "federal Internet takeover," since the birth of this country by the so-called Bill of Rights and Amendments. These moves "sound more like a story coming out of China or Russia."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - The climate scientist who pioneered geoengineering explains why it might blow up

merbs writes: At the first major climate engineering conference, Stanford climatologist Ken Caldeira explains how and why we might come to live on a geoengineered planet, how the field is rapidly growing (and why that's dangerous), and what the odds are that humans will try to hijack the Earth's thermostat.

Submission + - Star Within a Star: Thorne-Zytkow Object Discovered->

astroengine writes: A weird type of ‘hybrid’ star has been discovered nearly 40 years since it was first theorized — but until now has been curiously difficult to find. In 1975, renowned astrophysicists Kip Thorne, of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, Calif., and Anna Zytkow, of the University of Cambridge, UK, assembled a theory on how a large dying star could swallow its neutron star binary partner, thus becoming a very rare type of stellar hybrid, nicknamed a Thorne-Zytkow object (or TZO). The neutron star — a dense husk of degenerate matter that was once a massive star long since gone supernova — would spiral into the red supergiant’s core, interrupting normal fusion processes. According to the Thorne-Zytkow theory, after the two objects have merged, an excess of the elements rubidium, lithium and molybdenum will be generated by the hybrid. So astronomers have been on the lookout for stars in our galaxy, which is thought to contain only a few dozen of these objects at any one time, with this specific chemical signature in their atmospheres. Now, according to Emily Levesque of the University of Colorado Boulder and her team, a bona fide TZO has been discovered and their findings have been accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:How many? (Score 1) 342

Broadcasting was based on the inability of radio or tv to be individually addressable at the time the physical implementation was worked out. Advertising was therefore used to finance the broadcasters, who sold their audiences to their advertisers. I wonder if the broadcasters are shooting themselves in the foot by denying themselves Aereo's audience. Maybe they could work out a deal where Aereo gives them data on Aereo's users for each broadcast. Then they will have something to sell their advertisers. It might be handy, for example, to view a Miami station's news before I begin my Florida vacation, on my HDTV instead of my smaller monitor.

But why should the public interest or convenience mean anything , when there are monopoly rents to collect?

Submission + - Microsoft will give you $100 to buy a new PC->

mpicpp writes: If you're still using Windows XP, you just won $100 from Microsoft.

Those who are eligible for the promotion can redeem the credit at Microsoft's online store or their retail shops — and the fact that you still use the 13-year old Windows XP is subject to verification by Microsoft. The offer is good for PCs ranging in price from $599 and $2,299 and will run until June 15.

The promotion is part of Microsoft's plan to get the last remaining Windows XP users off the operating system before the April 8 end of life date. After April 8, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates to address viruses and exploits to the operating system.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Microsoft Ships Surface Pro 2 Tablets with Wrong, Slower Processor

SmartAboutThings writes: Microsoft launched the Surface Pro 2 tablet in October 2013 with several hardware upgrades, like the new 1.6GHz Core i5-4200U processor specifically optimized for longer battery life and increased performance. Three months later, Microsoft decided to upgrade the CPU with a 1.9GHz Core i5-4300U unit that would be capable of taking these improvements even further. Albeit Redmond has kept a low profile for the somewhat significant improvement, tech savvy buyers were aware of the change. Now, according to some new reports, it seems that the company is still shipping the old models to buyers, despite the fact that Microsoft has promised to deliver only upgraded models featuring the new CPU. The new processor is said to come with 20% higher clock speed and 15% to 20% better overclocked clock speed.

"Sometimes insanity is the only alternative" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

Working...