Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Network Level (Score 1) 61

by Todd Knarr (#48640371) Attached to: Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

There should be more isolation, yep. When I handled POS the terminals had no local storage at all, they were network booted from images on the site server and the LAN they were on had no outside access at all. The site servers were on our own wide-area network that connected them to corporate, and there were only two network segments (Development and Support) that could connect to the site servers (sites couldn't even connect to each other). Access to the Dev and Support networks from the rest of the company was highly restricted, and any unexpected access from Dev or Support netted you a phone call and/or an in-person visit from the support manager to find out what had blown up.

I can think of ways to get malware out to the POS system through all that, but all of them involve physically being in the basement of the corporate headquarters where the Support and Development department offices were located and any unknown face would've had to avoid 2 managers and 3 secretaries before being grabbed by the scruff of the neck by Cory and hustled back upstairs (because if Cory didn't recognize you you were not supposed to be down there).

Comment: Don't speculate, calculate [Re:Thermal calculatio] (Score 1) 558

A nice response, and interesting. But if you dig a little deeper, you'll see it's not that trivial.

Yes it is.

I would note that your post didn't address the relative orders of magnitude of CO2.

Calculations, please. Making stuff up isn't science. Calculating effects is. If you think that relative magnitude of CO2 is relevant, give me a back of the envelope showing plausibility. You can use as a starting point the fact all the volcanoes worldwide emit, on average, an estimated 130 to 440 million metric tons of CO2 each year. (Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?)

My revised argument (I didn't type the following in the earlier post) is that natural CO2 dominates anthropogenic CO2,


and any changes we induce to the overall temperature are overshadowed by natural variations.

Nope. They add to the natural variations... but the natural variations tend to average out with time, while the anthropogenic CO2 is monotonic upward.

In particular, the variations in chemistry and temperature of the ocean dominate the chemical equilibrium.

Don't speculate, calculate. About two minutes of work should show you that this is not even within a few orders of magnitude of being relevant. You need a back of the envelope calculation showing plausibility.

What I didn't add about the undersea volcanoes is when heat and acid are added to water, LeChatlier's principle states that the alkaline ocean (remember, ocean pH varies from 7.0 to 8.0) will go slightly more acidic (sulfuric acid is a much stronger acid than carbon dioxide) and push the carbon dioxide out of the water, and increasing temperature raises the dissociation constant of water (or lowers the pKw, take your pick) and also forces out more CO2.

Now you're talking effects that aren't even close to being relevant. Don't speculate, calculate.

Anyone who has drunk a warm, flat beer, or poured vinegar into soda water and watch it fizz, can observe this. The assumed heat added by volcanoes is 525,000 TW-h, [check your numbers too ;-)], and the acidity from sulfuric acid is enough energy (in terms of chemical potential) to affect the solubility and cause the ocean to release more CO2 into the atmosphere, or absorb more if the volcanic activity decreases.

Show me an order of magnitude. How much is the effect?

If there is a 10% variation in the volcanic releases of heat and SO4 (or 52,000 TW-h, compared to 142 TW-h from anthropogenic sources), that will affect the environment more than what we add, and it can be argued that from the energy balance difference (recall the worlds energy demand is another way of showing the chemical potential differences between the hydrocarbons and CO2 + H2O). This is significant,

Sorry, but your numbers fail a check of units. The units needed are warming in degrees K. Any other numbers need to, eventually, be turned into warming in K by a calculation.

and the argument cannot be dismissed by calling me a denier.

You have stopped being a denier when you started doing calculations with actual numbers. You may be wrong... but you have now demonstrated that you are not a denier.

It could be dismissed if all volcanoes were identified and their activity cataloged.

Unnecessary. If the effect is many orders of magnitude too small to think about, no need to pay further attention.

Comment: Re:$32 million of greed. (Score 1) 99

by hey! (#48639471) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I have a friend who was a medical entomologist and journal editor before he retired. I ran into him while I was browsing a book table at a conference, and mentioned that I'd like to buy one of the medical entomology textbooks but the $250 price tag was a bit steep.

"Just wait," he said. "I'm about to change that. I'm writing a new textbook that will be a lot cheaper. I want students and public health departments to be able to afford a solid medical entomology reference."

When his book came out the publisher set the priced at $500. It was twice as expensive any of its competitors. Now something like this is never going to sell like a basic calculus book, but it has a considerably larger market than you'd think. His idea was that it would find its way into the syllabus in medical, veterinary and public health schools; and that hospitals and public health agencies would buy copies for their libraries. But his strategy to make that happen by making the book affordable and sell in (relatively) high numbers; the publisher had other plans.

So don't blame authors for high textbook prices. It's publishers who set the price.

+ - Staples: Breach may have affected 1.16 million customers' cards->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "The office-supply retailer gave new details about a breach at more than 100 of its stores.

Staples said Friday afternoon that nearly 1.16 million customer payment cards may have been affected in a data breach under investigation since October.

The office-supply retailer said two months ago that it was working with law enforcement officials to look into a possible hacking of its customers’ credit card data. Staples said in October that it had learned of a potential data theft at several of its U.S. stores after multiple banks noticed a pattern of payment card fraud suggesting the company computer systems had been breached.

Now, Staples believes that point-of-sale systems at 115 Staples locations were infected with malware that thieves may have used to steal customers’ names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes, Staples said on Friday. At all but two of those stores, the malware would have had access to customer data for purchases made between August 10 and September 16 of this year. At the remaining two stores, the malware was active from July 20 through September 16, the company said."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Oh boy, rewind to the Spanish Inquisition! (Score 1) 558

by greg1104 (#48639103) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

First, pointing a finger and screeching 'DENIER' seems a lot like pointing the finger and screeching 'HERETIC', lending credence to the whole environmentalism-as-a-substitute-religion theory.

We should also teach children to bully the kids who aren't vaccinated, by pointing at them and yelling UNCLEAN!

Comment: Re:Crackers and milk [Re:News at 11..] (Score 1) 558

by greg1104 (#48639007) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Cracker as a term predates slavery in the US; it actually predates the whole country. See the crackers on wikipedia or The Secret History Of The Word 'Cracker' for an outline of the theories and history here. There was a large enough intersection between white slave owners and the white people called crackers that it probably helped popularize the term, but they were not the same group.

Comment: Re:News at 11.. (Score 1) 558

by rtb61 (#48638959) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Well, actually, copyright infringement is the illegal distribution of copyrighted content. You can legally make a million backup copies as long as you don't distribute more than one 'available' at time. Backups of the licensed content you own is completely legal as is also the replacement of damaged content media with new media. There is also a huge distinction between free and for profit distribution of that content. The distortion now comes it as to whether this is of value to society or whether it now just causes more harm than good and of course attempting to feed insatiable greed is never a good idea. Knowledge of course as being essential to any functioning society and especially with regard to democracies should always be freely accessible.

Comment: Re:Huh? (Score 1) 209

by rtb61 (#48638887) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

By far the most effective weapon in the digital age is the electro magnetic pulse, the bigger and the more repeated the better. As various societies completely abandon manual methods for digital methods the more vulnerable it becomes (government should always keep manual methods going as backup, the paper and the knowledge). So no action required beyond shutting down communications, data management and digital currency exchange and then letting the arrogant apes do it to themselves.

Comment: Re:This is worse than mythology. (Score 1) 317

by rtb61 (#48638855) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Based simply upon what happens on earth, the most likely dominant culture will be a multi-species one with each species making it's own unique contribution to that society, that cultural and thought process diversity. Likely elements of species societies advance with the overall multi-species society. Machine 'thinking' or more correctly data processing means they will always be subject to very simple attacks that the machines themselves will reproduce until total failure all as a direct result of necessary uniformity of thought or data processing. The major strength of any social species is diversity of thought and flexibility of actions, so one single failure is unlikely to eliminate them all add in multiple species to that society and it becomes far more resistant to disruption. So by far the most likely dominant society will be a multi-species one, where evolution no longer occurs by accident or trial and error.

Comment: Perspective (Score 2) 42

by radtea (#48638823) Attached to: NASA Video Shows What It's Like To Reenter the Earth's Atmosphere

For those like me, who just watched the video and didn't understand the point of view 'til quite late on, the camera is pointing back along the direction of flight.

Also, for some reason the video has strange out-of-focus side-pieces that are distracting and annoying. The view itself is gorgeous and amazing.

If you're not careful, you're going to catch something.