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+ - A Cheap, Ubiquitous Earthquake Warning System->

Submitted by Tekla Perry
Tekla Perry writes: Earthquake alert systems that give a 10 or 20 second warning of an impending temblor, enabling automatic systems to shut down and people to take cover, are hugely expensive to build and operate. (One estimate is $38.3 milllion for equipment to span California, and another $16.1 million annually to operate.) But a Palo Alto entrepreneur thinks he's got a way to sense earthquakes and provide alerts far more cheaply and with much greater resolution. And he's got money from the National Science Foundation to begin the first test of his system--covering the Bay Area from Santa Cruz to Napa and the cities of Hollister, Coalinga, and Parkfield. He starts that test next month.
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+ - 10 Easy Rules to Curb Over-optimistic Reporting in Computational Biology->

Submitted by sandbagger
sandbagger writes: In in biomedical research in particular, is most often overoptimistic with respect to the superiority of new therapies or the strength of association between a risk factors and outcomes. Published results appear more more spectacular, or more satisfactory than they actually would if they reflected the truth.

Causes of this problem are diverse, numerous, and interrelated. The effects of 'fishing for significance' strategies or selective/incomplete reporting are exacerbated by design issues or publication bias. Research and guidelines on how to reduce overoptimistic reporting in the context of computational research, including computational biology as an important special case, however, are surprisingly scarce. Many methodological articles published in computational literature report the superior performance of new methods , too often in general terms and—directly or indirectly—implying that the presented positive results are generalizable to other settings.

Such overoptimistic reporting confuses readers, makes literature less credible and more difficult to interpret, and might even ultimately lead to a waste of resources in some cases.

Here are ten simple rules to address the problem of overoptimistic reporting.

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+ - More Broadband Competition for Comcast and Verizon->

Submitted by gthuang88
gthuang88 writes: Just days after Comcast and Time Warner Cable abandoned their mega-merger plans, wireless Internet service provider Webpass is expanding to Boston, its fifth major market. The region can boast of MIT, a rich history in Internet and Web, and lots of networking companies---but very little in the way of broadband competition, until now. Webpass’s very high-speed service, which is currently available in the Bay Area, San Diego, Miami, and Chicago, should be up and running in downtown Boston in three or four weeks. The company joins NetBlazr, Monkeybrains, and other broadband tech companies that are finding a niche as more people opt to “cut the cord” from big cable and telecom providers.
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+ - Should AWS spin out of Amazon? ->

Submitted by Brandon Butler
Brandon Butler writes: Last week when Amazon released financial figures for Amazon Web Services ($6 billion annual revenue run rate, $680 million in annual profit) and in doing so it proved its cloud division is big enough to be its own company. But would Amazon ever spin AWS out? Amazon.com lost $50 million in the first quarter of this year, and that's with AWS contributing a $165 million profit. It's doubtful Amazon would shed the AWS cash-cow any time soon, but some analysts are calling for it.
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+ - DSLreports new bufferbloat test->

Submitted by mtaht
mtaht writes: While I have long advocated using professional tools like netperf-wrapper's rrul test suite to diagnose and fix your bufferbloat issues, there has long been a need for a simpler web based test for it. Now dslreports has incorporated bufferbloat testing in their speedtest. What sort of bloat do slashdot readers experience? Give the test a shot at http://www.dslreports.com/speedtest

Has anyone here got around to applying fq_codel against their bloat?

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+ - Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body->

Submitted by Lashdots
Lashdots writes: Amid the unveiling of the Apple Watch, Tim Cook's wrist distracted from another new product last month: ResearchKit, an open source iOS platform designed to help researchers design apps for medical studies—and reach millions of potential research subjects through their iPhones. Alongside the company's new frontiers, like the car and the home, Cook told Jim Cramer last month that health "may be the biggest one of all." As Fast Company reports, Cook says Apple's devices could could help pinpoint diseases within decades—and position the company at the center of a "significantly underestimated" mobile-health industry. Given the medical history of Silicon Valley, however, the prognosis for Apple remains unclear.
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+ - Obama unveils 6-year-old report on NSA surveillance->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: With debate gearing up over the coming expiration of the Patriot Act surveillance law, the Obama administration on Saturday unveiled a 6-year-old report examining the once-secret program to collect information on Americans' calls and emails.

They found that while many senior intelligence officials believe the program filled a gap by increasing access to international communications, others including FBI agents, CIA analysts and managers "had difficulty evaluating the precise contribution of the PSP to counterterrorism efforts because it was most often viewed as one source among many available analytic and intelligence-gathering tools in these efforts."

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+ - Think Tanks: How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law

Submitted by theodp
theodp writes: The NY Times' Eric Lipton was just awarded a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting that shed light on how foreign powers buy influence at think tanks. So, it probably bears mentioning that Microsoft's 'two-pronged' National Talent Strategy to increase K-12 CS education and the number of H-1B visas — which is on the verge of being codified into laws by the President and lawmakers — was hatched at an influential Microsoft and Gates Foundation-backed think tank mentioned in Lipton's reporting, the Brookings Institution. In 2012, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum on STEM education and immigration reforms, where fabricating a crisis was discussed as a strategy to succeed with Microsoft's agenda where earlier lobbying attempts by Bill Gates and Microsoft had failed. "So, Brad [Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith]," asked the Brookings Institution's Darrell West at the event, "you're the only [one] who mentioned this topic of making the problem bigger. So, we galvanize action by really producing a crisis, I take it?" "Yeah," Smith replied (video). And, with the help of nonprofit organizations like Code.org and FWD.us that were founded shortly thereafter, a national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis was indeed created. Last December, as Microsoft-backed Code.org 'taught President Obama to code' at a White House event to kick off the nations's Hour of Code (as a top Microsoft lobbyist looked on), Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was also in D.C. publicly lobbying for high-skilled immigration and privately meeting with White House officials on undisclosed matters. And that, kids, is How a Bill [Gates Agenda] Becomes a Law!

+ - Which smartphone is stable these days?

Submitted by janimal
janimal writes: It used to be true that the iPhone was the smartphone that "just works". Ever since the 4S days, this has been true less and less with each generation. My wife's iPhone 6 needs to be restarted several times per week for things like internet search or making calls to work. An older 5S I'm using also doesn't consistently stream to Apple TV, doesn't display song names correctly on Apple TV and third party peripherals (like a Mercedes Benz). In short, the mainstay of Apple that is quality is fast receding. In your opinion, which smartphone brand these days is taking up the slack and delivering a fully featured smartphone that "just works"?

+ - Microsoft, Chip Makers Working on Hardware DRM for Windows 10 PCs-> 1

Submitted by writertype
writertype writes: Last month, Microsoft began talking about PlayReady 3.0, which adds hardware DRM to secure 4K movies. Intel, AMD, Nvidia, and Qualcomm are all building it in, according to Microsoft. Years back, a number of people got upset when Hollywood talked about locking down "our content". So how important is hardware DRM in this day and age?
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+ - Amazon's Profits Are Floating on a Cloud (Computing)

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The NYT reports that Amazon unveiled the financial performance of its powerful growth engine for the first time on Thursday, and the numbers looked good, energized primarily by renting processing power to start-ups and, increasingly, established businesses. Amazon said in its first-quarter earnings report that its cloud division, Amazon Web Services, had revenue of $1.57 billion during the first three months of the year. What is more unusual at a company that often reports losses, the cloud business is generating substantial profits. The company said its operating income from AWS was $265 million.

Amazon helped popularize the field starting in 2006 and largely had cloud computing to itself for years, an enormous advantage in an industry where rivals usually watch one another closely. At the moment, there is no contest: Amazon is dominant and might even be extending its lead. Microsoft ranks a distant No. 2 in cloud computing but hopes to pick up the slack with infrastructure-related services it sells through Azure, the name of its cloud service. “Microsoft is a credible player,” says Lydia Leong. But, she added, “Amazon is the most common platform for start-ups.” Amazon executives have said they expect AWS to eventually rival the company’s other businesses in size. The cloud business has been growing at about 40 percent a year, more than twice the rate of the overall company and many Wall Street analysts have been hoping for a spinoff. As for Google, the cloud was barely mentioned in Google's earnings call. Nor did the search giant offer any cloud numbers, making it impossible to gauge how well it is doing. But the enthusiasm of Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, was manifest when he spoke at an event for cloud software developers this week. “The entire world will be defined by smartphones, Android or Apple, a very fast network, and cloud computing,” said Schmidt. “The space is very large, very vast, and no one is covering all of it.”

+ - RSA Ban On 'Booth Babes' Spares 'Marilyn Monroe'-> 1

Submitted by netbuzz
netbuzz writes: When RSA confirmed last month that it was banning “booth babes” from its security conference held this week, the decision was generally well received. Some, however, anticipated that there might be trouble deciding who is or is not appropriately attired. Take, for example, a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. Booth babe? Or not? RSA said not, but there seems to be a good deal of disagreement.
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+ - Good: Companies care about data privacy. Bad: No idea how to protect it. 1

Submitted by Esther Schindler
Esther Schindler writes: Research performed by Dimensional Research demonstrated something most of us know: Just about every business cares about data privacy, and intends to do something to protect sensitive information. But when you cross-tabulate the results to look more closely at what organizations are actually doing to ensure that private data stays private, the results are sadly predictable: While smaller companies care about data privacy just as much as big ones do, they’re ill-equipped to respond. What’s different is not the perceived urgency of data privacy and other privacy/security matters. It’s what companies are prepared (and funded) to do about it.

For instance:

When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations do tell the people who work for them the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training.

However, even though smaller companies are equally concerned about the subject, that concern does not trickle down to the employees quite so effectively. Half of the midsize businesses offer no such training; just 39% of organizations with under 100 employees regularly train employees on data privacy.

Presumably, your employer cares about data security and privacy, too (if for no other reason than to keep its name out of the news). But what is it really doing to ensure that protection?

+ - Groupon refuses to pay security expert who found serious XSS site bugs->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Bounty programs benefit everyone. Companies like Microsoft get help from security experts, customers gain improved security, and those who discover and report vulnerabilities reap the rewards financially. Or at least that's how things are supposed to work.

Having reported a series of security problems to discount and deal site Groupon, security researcher Brute Logic from XSSposed.org was expecting a pay-out — but the site refuses to stump up the cash. In all, Brute Logic reported more than 30 security issues with Groupon's site, but the company cites its Responsible Disclosure policy as the reason for not handing over the cash.

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The UNIX philosophy basically involves giving you enough rope to hang yourself. And then a couple of feet more, just to be sure.

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