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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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+ - 19,000 French Websites Hit By DDoS, Defaced In Wake Of Terror Attack

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Since the three day terror attack that started in France on January 7 with the attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, 19,000 websites of French-based companies have been targeted by cyber attackers. This unprecedented avalanche of cyber attacks targeted both government sites and that of big and small businesses. Most were low-level DDoS attacks, and some were web defacements. Several websites in a number of towns in the outskirts of Paris have been hacked and covered with an image of an ISIS flag. The front pages of the official municipality websites have been covered with the Jihadist militant group's black flag. In a report, Radware researchers noted that Islamic hacker group AnonGhost has also launched a "digital jihad" against France."

+ - Designer Creates 3d Printed Skin That Imitates & Feels Like Human Skin->

Submitted by ErnieKey
ErnieKey (3766427) writes "Industrial designer Hamish McIntosh, in working on a thesis for his Master’s degree at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington, has been working on solving the problem of medical training in the area of suturing. His answer has been to develop a 3D design that simulates skin. The 3D printed material imitates real skin in that it is flexible, pliant, and has the same amount of fluidity. The 3D printed skin may have the potential to change the course of medical training."
Link to Original Source

+ - Libraries in Washington DC Promoting Privacy with Tor

Submitted by ArcRiley
ArcRiley (737114) writes "According to a recent article on Vice, libraries in Washington DC will be hosting a 10-day series on government surveillance and privacy titled Orwellian America.

One of the main events is a free workshop on using Tor and helping patrons install Tor Browser Bundle on their laptops. Seems those radical militant librarians are at it again!"

+ - There is no center of the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "From our vantage point, the Universe is expanding and cooling, with all but a few of the closest galaxies receding from our view. In fact, the farther away an object is, the faster it appears to recede. This may sound an awful lot like what occurs in an explosion to you, especially if it were centered on us. Furthermore, the name “the Big Bang” sure gives that same implication, doesn’t it? Yet despite these facts, it turns out that the idea that the Universe has a center is completely false, and is actually contradicted by both relativity and the Universe that we observe."

+ - Revolutionary stretchable implant enables broken spinal cord to function again->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A team from EPFL and NCCR Robotics lead by Profs Stéphanie Lacour, Grégoire Courtine and Silvestro Micera published an article in Science today describing their e-dura implant that could revolutionise how we think about and treat paralysis. Until now, implants placed beneath the dura mater of the spinal cord have caused significant tissue damage when used over long periods. Research shows that the new e-dura implant is viable for months at a time in animal subjects. The team is now moving on to clinical trials in human subjects and is developing their prototype to take to market."
Link to Original Source

+ - How civilisations can spread across a galaxy->

Submitted by kanweg
kanweg (771128) writes "If you look at the milky way at night, it appears not much is changing. But over time, stars get closer and further to each other. Coryn Bailer-Jones, an astrophysicist at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, found that of 14 stars coming within 3 light years of Earth, the closest encounter is likely to be HIP 85605, which now lies some 16 light years away in the constellation of Hercules. It will get a close as the Oort cloud.
Human or alien civilisations could practice star hopping. Why travel 16 light years through space when you can just wait until a star with a suitable planet gets close and cover only the last stretch with an artificial spaceship? Take your time for a thoughtful response; it will take another 250,000 to 470,000 year before the close encounter."

Link to Original Source

Comment: It takes a while (Score 1) 464

by Dupple (#48718507) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are Progressive Glasses a Mistake For Computer Users?

I sit in front of a computer pretty much from the moment I wake up to the moment I go back to bed and I've been wearing progressive lenses for about a year now. The correct for both close up and distance.

At first it was a major hassle as I found myself moving my head more and actively trying to find the correct 'sweet spot' for whatever I was looking at.

I really don't have a problem with them now, I thnk it took about a month for me not to notice the additional head movement.

It might be worth going back to your optometrist and check your glasses have been ground correctly - an eye test with your glasses on should suffice. Mistakes are not common but the can occur

+ - Man finds car part in arm 51 years after accident-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In 1963, man survived serious head-on collision driving his brand new Ford Thunderbird into a truck. Focus of doctors was on his smashed hip, ignoring an injured arm with glass and seemingly superficial wounds. Years later, a metal detector pointed to an object in his arm. Doctor discovered the turn signal from the crash 51 years ago."
Link to Original Source

+ - OpenBSD forked to remove non-free firmware 2

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "LibertyBSD, a fork of OpenBSD that is committed to only distributing 100% free software, has been announced.

OpenBSD, while mostly free, distributes binary-only firmware and often downloads more on first boot.

LibertyBSD is pending review by the Free Software Foundation, which maintains a list of free system distributions. Other distributions on their list include Trisquel, which is based on Ubuntu, and Parabola, which is based on Arch.

To ensure the continued development of LibertyBSD, releases will not be available for download until 3 BTC has been raised. After that, future releases will be available at no cost. 10% of the money raised will be donated to the OpenBSD Foundation.

For more information, see http://www.libertybsd.net/

Contributions can be sent to 1BFQEqzhxTbvfjZ3f9eoTbeEBgJdkVcj4m"

+ - School Defied Google and US Government, Let Boys Program White House Xmas Trees

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "This holiday season, Google and the National Parks partnered to let girls program the White House Christmas tree lights. While the initiative earned kudos in Fast Company's 9 Giant Leaps For Women In Science and Technology In 2014, it also prompted an act of civil disobedience of sorts from St. Augustine of Canterbury School, which decided Google and the U.S. government wouldn't determine which of their kids would be allowed to participate in the coding event. "We decided to open it up to all our students, both boys and girls so that they could be a part of such an historic event, and have it be the kickoff to our Hour of Code week," explained Debra Knox, a technology teacher at St. Augustine."

+ - The Dawn of Trustworthy Computing 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Nick Szabo writes that when we use web services, we are relying on an architecture based on full trust in an unknown "root" administrator, who can control everything that happens on the server. They can read, alter, delete, or block any data on that computer at will. Even data sent encrypted over a network is eventually unencrypted and ends up on a computer controlled in this total way. With current web services we are fully trusting, in other words we are fully vulnerable to, the computer, or more specifically the people who have access to that computer, both insiders and hackers, to faithfully execute our orders, secure our payments, and so on. Compare this architecture to traditional commercial protocols, such as ticket-selling at a movie theater, that distribute a transaction so that no employee can steal money or resources undetected. There is no "root administrator" at a movie theater who can pocket your cash undetected. On the Internet, instead of securely and reliably handing over cash and getting our goods or services, or at least a ticket, we have to fill out forms and make ourselves vulnerable to identity theft in order to participate in e-commerce.

Recently a developing technology, often called "the block chain", is starting to change this. A block chain computer is a virtual computer, a computer in the cloud, shared across many traditional computers and protected by cryptography and consensus technology. A block-chain computer, in sharp contrast to a web server, is shared across many such traditional computers controlled by dozens to thousands of people. By its very design each computer checks each other's work, and thus a block chain computer reliably and securely executes our instructions up to the security limits of block chain technology, which is known formally as anonymous and probabilistic Byzantine consensus (sometimes also called Nakamoto consensus). Instead of the cashier and ticket-ripper of the movie theater, the block chain consists of thousands of computers that can process digital tickets, money, and many other fiduciary objects in digital form. "I think we see every week now somewhere between one and three entrepreneurs come in with blockchain ideas," says Chris Dixon. "There's definitely some momentum behind it.""

+ - Adobe Flash Update Installs McAfee Security Scan Plus Crapware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "If you get an update notification for Adobe Flash you will also be installing McAfee Security Scan Plus. This mornings update did open an Adobe webpage but did not give the option of unticking a box to prevent installation of McAfee crapware like previous updates have had. To uninstall — Start, McAfee Security Scan Plus, Uninstall, restart, cross your fingers nothing gets borked."

+ - 5,200 Days Aboard ISS and the Surprising Reason the Mission is Still Worthwhile

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Spaceflight has faded from American consciousness even as our performance in space has reached a new level of accomplishment. In the past decade, America has become a truly, permanently spacefaring nation. All day, every day, half a dozen men and women, including two Americans, are living and working in orbit, and have been since November 2000. Charles Fishman has a long, detailed article about life aboard the ISS in The Atlantic that is well worth the read where you are sure to learn something you didn't already know about earth's permanent outpost in space. Some excerpts:

The International Space Station is a vast outpost, its scale inspiring awe even in the astronauts who have constructed it. From the edge of one solar panel to the edge of the opposite one, the station stretches the length of a football field, including the end zones. The station weighs nearly 1 million pounds, and its solar arrays cover more than an acre. It’s as big inside as a six-bedroom house, more than 10 times the size of a space shuttle’s interior. Astronauts regularly volunteer how spacious it feels. It’s so big that during the early years of three-person crews, the astronauts would often go whole workdays without bumping into one another, except at mealtimes.

On the station, the ordinary becomes peculiar. The exercise bike for the American astronauts has no handlebars. It also has no seat. With no gravity, it’s just as easy to pedal furiously, feet strapped in, without either. You can watch a movie while you pedal by floating a laptop anywhere you want. But station residents have to be careful about staying in one place too long. Without gravity to help circulate air, the carbon dioxide you exhale has a tendency to form an invisible cloud around your head. You can end up with what astronauts call a carbon-dioxide headache.

Even by the low estimates, it costs $350,000 an hour to keep the station flying, which makes astronauts’ time an exceptionally expensive resource—and explains their relentless scheduling: Today’s astronauts typically start work by 7:30 in the morning, Greenwich Mean Time, and stop at 7 o’clock in the evening. They are supposed to have the weekends off, but Saturday is devoted to cleaning the station—vital, but no more fun in orbit than housecleaning down here—and some work inevitably sneaks into Sunday.

Life in space is so complicated that a lot of logistics have to be off-loaded to the ground if astronauts are to actually do anything substantive. Just building the schedule for the astronauts in orbit on the U.S. side of the station requires a full-time team of 50 staffers.

Almost anyone you talk with about the value of the Space Station eventually starts talking about Mars. When they do, it’s clear that we don’t yet have a very grown-up space program. The folks we send to space still don’t have any real autonomy, because no one was imagining having to “practice” autonomy when the station was designed and built. On a trip to Mars, the distances are so great that a single voice or email exchange would involve a 30-minute round-trip. That one change, among the thousand others that going to Mars would require, would alter the whole dynamic of life in space. The astronauts would have to handle things themselves.

That could be the real value of the Space Station—to shift NASA’s human exploration program from entirely Earth-controlled to more astronaut-directed, more autonomous. This is not a high priority now; it would be inconvenient, inefficient. But the station’s value could be magnified greatly were NASA to develop a real ethic, and a real plan, for letting the people on the mission assume more responsibility for shaping and controlling it. If we have any greater ambitions for human exploration in space, that’s as important as the technical challenges. Problems of fitness and food supply are solvable. The real question is what autonomy for space travelers would look like—and how Houston can best support it. Autonomy will not only shape the psychology and planning of the mission; it will shape the design of the spacecraft itself.

"

+ - The Slow Death of 'Do Not Track'->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "FOUR years ago, the Federal Trade Commission announced, with fanfare, a plan to let American consumers decide whether to let companies track their online browsing and buying habits. The plan would let users opt out of the collection of data about their habits through a setting in their web browsers, without having to decide on a site-by-site basis.

The idea, known as “Do Not Track,” and modeled on the popular “Do Not Call” rule that protects consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, is simple. But the details are anything but.

Although many digital advertising companies agreed to the idea in principle, the debate over the definition, scope and application of “Do Not Track” has been raging for several years.

Now, finally, an industry working group is expected to propose detailed rules governing how the privacy switch should work. The group includes experts but is dominated by Internet giants like Adobe, Apple, Facebook, Google and Yahoo. It is poised to recommend a carve-out that would effectively free them from honoring “Do Not Track” requests.

If regulators go along, the rules would allow the largest Internet giants to continue scooping up data about users on their own sites and on other sites that include their plug-ins, such as Facebook’s “Like” button or an embedded YouTube video. This giant loophole would make “Do Not Track” meaningless.

How did we get into this mess? For starters, the Federal Trade Commission doesn’t seem to fully understand the nature of the Internet."

Link to Original Source

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