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Submission + - Anonymous Reportedly "RickRolling" Isis (

retroworks writes: According to a recent tweet from the #OpParis account, Anonymous are delivering on their threat to hack Isis [slashdot, and are now flooding all pro-Isis hastags with the grandfather of all 2007 memes — Rick Aston's "Never Gonna Give You Up" (1987) music video, aka “Rick Roll” meme. Whenever a targeted Isis account tries to spread a message, the topic will instead be flooded with countless videos of Rick Astley circa 1987.

Not all are praising Anonymous methods, however. While Metro UK reports that the attacks have been successful, finding and shutting down 5,500 Twitter accounts, the article also indicates that professional security agencies have seen sources they monitor shut down. Rick Aston drowns out intelligence as well as recruitment.

Submission + - Senate panel explores crackdown on encryption software companies. (

Earthquake Retrofit writes: The Washington Post has an interesting story about government access to encrypted communications. Some members of the senate seem to think turning the screws on software companies will "keep America safe."

From the article: Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said, “The reality is that we don’t expect this to be received extremely well from companies that market their products based upon the fact that they have end-to-end encryption, We don’t have a responsibility to sell their products. We have a responsibility to keep America safeand if it means people are going to have to change their business models, then so be it.”

However, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), said “It’s important to be very careful about some of these knee-jerk approaches that don’t give you more security and put at risk your liberty, Requiring U.S. companies to weaken encryption, when terrorists can fairly easily obtain advanced encryption products around the world doesn’t make much sense to me.”

Submission + - US Rep. Joe Barton has a plan to stop terrorists: shut down websites (

Earthquake Retrofit writes: Barton today asked Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler if the commission can shut down websites used by ISIS and other terrorist groups.

"Isn't there something we can do under existing law to shut those Internet sites down, and I know they pop up like weeds, but once they do pop up, shut them down and then turn those Internet addresses over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies to try to track them down? I would think that even in an open society, when there is a clear threat, they’ve declared war against us, our way of life, they've threatened to attack this very city our capital is in, that we could do something about the Internet and social media side of the equation."

Wheeler noted that Congress could update its definition of a "lawful intercept" under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, in which an ISP intercepts a suspect's Internet traffic and sends a copy to a law enforcement agency performing surveillance. Barton asked Wheeler if the commission will work with lawmakers if Congress decides to update the laws, to which Wheeler answered, "A capital yes, sir."

Submission + - Adding Eye Control to Wheelchairs of Quadrupelegics ( 1

szczys writes: The inventor of the Eyedriveomatic has ALS. This prevents him from controlling his electric wheelchair, but it didn't prevent him from teaming up with two other people (one also a quadriplegic) to design a way around the limitation.

Eyegaze hardware is what lets people speak through a computer using only their eyes. Eyedrivomatic is an open source project that uses common materials to connect the Eyegaze to the joystick of the wheelchair without altering the chair (which is rented equipment in most cases). A 3D printed gimbal is strapped over the existing joystick, but does not prevent it from still being used normally by caregivers. The gimbal's servo motors actuate the joystick with commands from the Eyegaze.

Submission + - Anonymous and friends take down 3,824 twitter accounts in 1 day

BarbaraHudson writes: Softpedia is reporting that Anonymous, along with social media users, have identified more than 3800 ISIS accounts

Besides scanning for ISIS Twitter accounts themselves, the hacking group has also opened access to the site to those interested. Anyone who comes across ISIS social media accounts can easily search the database and report any new terrorists and supporters.

The website is called #opIceISIS (link here — it's SLOW right now, but it does load) and will index ISIS members based on their real name, location, picture, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts.

Anonymous crowdsourcing their operations ... welcome to the brave new world, ISIS.

Submission + - How to avoid online surveillance -- the essential guide (

Mark Wilson writes: It would appear that mass surveillance of the Internet is here to stay. We can rage against the machine, but ultimately we're powerless to stop the likes of the NSA and GCHQ prying into whatever they want to pry into. More and more people are turning to the dark web to help cover their tracks, but even the supposedly anonymous haven of Tor can be cracked for a price.

Last week in the UK, the draft Investigatory Powers Bill was published outlining proposals for ISPs to retain user's browsing histories for a full year. Governments want to weaken encryption. The FCC ruled that Do Not Track requests are essentially meaningless. The NSA finds and takes advantage of vulnerabilities. It's little wonder that privacy groups are up in arms — the erosion of online rights continues with terrifying speed. But all is not lost. There are still things you can do to help maintain your privacy. If you're concerned, here's what you can do.

There's no need to completely disconnect from the internet — although this is the only sure fire way of staying off the radar — but you will certainly have to change a few of your online habits

Submission + - Gambling Can Save Science! writes: The field of psychology has been recently been embarrassed by failed attempts to repeat the results of classic textbook experiments, and a mounting realization that many papers are the result of commonly accepted statistical shenanigans rather than careful attempts to test hypotheses. Now Ed Yong writes at The Atlantic that Anna Dreber at the Stockholm School of Economics has created a stock market for scientific publications, where psychologists bet on published studies based on how reproducible they deemed the findings. Based on Robin Hanson's classic paper "Could Gambling Save Science," that proposed a market-based alternative to peer review called "idea futures," the market would allow scientists to formally "stake their reputation", and offer clear incentives to be careful and honest while contributing to a visible, self-consistent consensus on controversial (or routine) scientific questions.

Here's how it works. Each of 92 participants received $100 for buying or selling stocks on 41 studies that were in the process of being replicated. At the start of the trading window, each stock cost $0.50. If the study replicated successfully, they would get $1. If it didn't, they'd get nothing. As time went by, the market prices for the studies rose and fell depending on how much the traders bought or sold. The participants tried to maximize their profits by betting on studies they thought would pan out, and they could see the collective decisions of their peers in real time. The final price of the stocks, at the end of two-week experiment, reflected the probability that each study would be successfully replicated, as determined by the collective actions of the traders. In the end, the markets correctly predicted the outcomes of 71 percent of the replications—a statistically significant, if not mind-blowing score. “It blew us all away,” says Dreber. “There is some wisdom of crowds; people have some intuition about which results are true and which are not,” adds Dreber. “Which makes me wonder: What's going on with peer review? If people know which results are really not likely to be real, why are they allowing them to be published?”

Submission + - Microsoft Invented Google Earth in the 90s and Then Threw It Away

Jason Koebler writes: Launched in 1998, Terraserver could have, should have been a product that ensured Microsoft would remain the world’s most important internet company well into the 21st century. It was the first-ever publicly available interactive satellite map of the world. The world’s first-ever terabyte-sized database. Terraserver was a functional and popular Google Earth predecessor that launched and worked well before Google even thought of the concept. It let you see your house, from space.
So why aren’t we all using Terraserver on our smartphones right now?

Submission + - Russia reveals giant nuclear torpedo in state TV 'leak' (

schwit1 writes: Details of a new Russian submarine-launched nuclear torpedo have been shown on state-controlled TV, a secret the Kremlin said should never have been aired. Some observers, however, saw it as a deliberate leak.

The airing of the video on television channels under tight Kremlin control raised suspicions that it was done intentionally to scare the West at a time when its ties with Russia are at the lowest point since the Cold War.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What terminal emulator do you use? 2

An anonymous reader writes: Although I spend a considerable amount of my time at work using shell commands and other text-based applications, I've never really given much thought to what terminal emulator I use. A recent article over on rounded up their picks for their seven favorite terminals, but I'm still unsure if it really matters which one I pick. Do you have a favorite terminal emulator, and if so, what makes it your favorite? I'm interested in hearing about that "one killer feature" that really sold you on your choice.

Submission + - Earth may have kept its own water rather than getting it from asteroids (

sciencehabit writes: Carl Sagan famously dubbed Earth the “pale blue dot” for our planet’s abundant water. But where this water came from—and when it arrived—has been a longstanding debate. Many scientists argue that Earth formed as a dry planet, and gained its water millions of years later through the impact of water-bearing asteroids or comets. But now, scientists say that Earth may have had water from the start, inheriting it directly from the swirling nebula that gave birth to the solar system. If true, the results suggest that water-rich planets may abound in the universe.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito