Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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).

×
Data Storage

Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Storing Data To Survive a Fire (or Other Disaster) 443

Posted by samzenpus
from the burning-down-the-house dept.
First time accepted submitter aka_bigred writes Every year as I file my taxes, I replicate my most important financial data (a couple GB of data) to store an offline copy in my fire-rated home safe. This gets me thinking about what the most reliable data media would be to keep in my fire-rated home safe.

CDs/DVDs/tapes could easily melt or warp rendering them useless, so I'm very hesitant to use them. I've seen more exotic solutions that let you print your digital data to paper an optically re-import it later should you ever need it, but it seems overly cumbersome and error prone should it be damaged or fire scorched. That leaves my best options being either a classic magnetic platter drive, or some sort of solid state storage, like SD cards, USB flash drives, or a small SSD. The problem is, I can't decide which would survive better if ever exposed to extreme temperatures, or water damage should my house burn down.

Most people would just suggest to store it in "the cloud", but I'm naturally averse to doing so because that means someone else is responsible for my data and I could lose it to hackers, the entity going out of business, etc. Once it leaves my home, I no longer fully control it, which is unacceptable. My thought being "they can't hack/steal what they can't physically access." What medium do other Slashdot users use to store their most important data (under say 5GB worth) in an at-home safe to protect it from fire?
Space

Supernovae May Not Be Standard Candles; Is Dark Energy All Wrong? 199

Posted by Soulskill
from the either-that-or-it-isn't dept.
StartsWithABang writes: The accelerated expansion of the Universe — and hence, dark energy — was discovered by taking the well-understood phenomenon of type Ia supernovae and measuring them out to great distances. The results indicated that they were fainter than expected, and hence more distant, and hence the Universe's expansion must be accelerating. But new results have just come out, showing that supernovae may not be standard after all. Does this mean dark energy may not be real, or that it may just be slightly weaker than we previously thought?
Education

Cannabis Smoking Makes Students Less Likely To Pass University Courses 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the killing-your-buzz dept.
Bruce66423 writes: A large scale European study shows that students who were unable to buy cannabis legally were 5% more likely to pass their University courses. Below-average students with no legal access to pot were 7.6% more likely to pass their courses, and the effect was five times more pronounced when dealing with courses involving math. One of the study's authors said, "We think this newfound effect on productivity from a change in legal access to cannabis is not negligible and should be, at least in the short run, politically relevant for any societal drug legalization and prohibition decision-making. In the bigger picture, our findings also indicate that soft drug consumption behavior is affected by their legal accessibility, which has not been causally demonstrated before. ... Considering the massive impact on cognitive performance high levels of THC have, I think it is reasonable to at least inform young users much more on consequences of consuming such products as compared with that of having a beer or pure vodka."

Comment: Re:Perfect security (Score 4, Interesting) 460

by GIL_Dude (#49421717) Attached to: Planes Without Pilots
You wouldn't NEED to hack into it (although it is certainly a legitimate vector). Less technical "terrorists" could simply use enough force to take over a tower or control center and send commands from an authorized terminal (likely with an authorized ID gotten by the "rubber hose" method). You would then be able to proceed to down any planes in the control area of that tower. I think I would rather have the smarts controlling the plane (whether it be computer or pilot controlled) on the plane with outside access limited to when it is requested by at least a couple of members of the flight crew.
Transportation

Planes Without Pilots 460

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-now-for-the-overreaction dept.
HughPickens.com writes: John Markoff writes in the NY Times that in the aftermath of the co-pilot crashing a Germanwings plane into a mountain, aviation experts are beginning to wonder if human pilots are really necessary aboard commercial planes. Advances in sensor technology, computing and artificial intelligence are making human pilots less necessary than ever in the cockpit and government agencies are already experimenting with replacing the co-pilot, perhaps even both pilots on cargo planes, with robots or remote operators. NASA is exploring a related possibility: moving the co-pilot out of the cockpit on commercial flights, and instead using a single remote operator to serve as co-pilot for multiple aircraft. In this scenario, a ground controller might operate as a dispatcher, managing a dozen or more flights simultaneously. It would be possible for the ground controller to "beam" into individual planes when needed and to land a plane remotely in the event that the pilot became incapacitated — or worse. "Could we have a single-pilot aircraft with the ability to remotely control the aircraft from the ground that is safer than today's systems?" asks Cummings. "The answer is yes."

Automating that job may save money. But will passengers ever set foot on plane piloted by robots, or humans thousands of miles from the cockpit? In written testimony submitted to the Senate last month, the Air Line Pilots Association warned, "It is vitally important that the pressure to capitalize on the technology not lead to an incomplete safety analysis of the aircraft and operations." The association defended the unique skills of a human pilot: "A pilot on board an aircraft can see, feel, smell or hear many indications of an impending problem (PDF) and begin to formulate a course of action before even sophisticated sensors and indicators provide positive indications of trouble." Not all of the scientists and engineers believe that increasingly sophisticated planes will always be safer planes. "Technology can have costs of its own," says Amy Pritchett. "If you put more technology in the cockpit, you have more technology that can fail.""
HP

Carly Fiorina Calls Apple's Tim Cook a 'Hypocrite' On Gay Rights 653

Posted by timothy
from the fightin'-words dept.
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "David Knowles reports at Bloomberg that former Hewlett-Packard CEO and potential 2016 presidential candidate Carly Fiorina called out Apple CEO Tim Cook as a hypocrite for criticizing Indiana and Arkansas over their Religious Freedom Restoration Acts while at the same time doing business in countries where gay rights are non-existent. "When Tim Cook is upset about all the places that he does business because of the way they treat gays and women, he needs to withdraw from 90% of the markets that he's in, including China and Saudi Arabia," Fiorina said. "But I don't hear him being upset about that."

In similar criticism of Hillary Clinton on the Fox News program Hannity, Fiorina argued that Clinton's advocacy on behalf of women was tarnished by donations made to the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments where women's rights are not on par with those in America. ""I must say as a woman, I find it offensive that Hillary Clinton travels the Silicon Valley, a place where I worked for a long time, and lectures Silicon Valley companies on women's rights in technology, and yet sees nothing wrong with taking money from the Algerian government, which really denies women the most basic human rights. This is called, Sean, hypocrisy." While Hillary Clinton hasn't directly addressed Fiorina's criticisms, her husband has. "You've got to decide, when you do this work, whether it will do more good than harm if someone helps you from another country," former president Bill Clinton said in March. "And I believe we have done a lot more good than harm. And I believe this is a good thing.""
Books

Sen. Feinstein Says Anarchist Cookbook Should Be "Removed From the Internet" 538

Posted by timothy
from the applied-civics dept.
schwit1 writes with this snippet from Ars Technica: In the wake of the Thursday arrest of two women accused of attempting to build a bomb, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) wrote on her website that the 1971 book on bomb making, which may have aided the terror suspects in some small way, should be "banned from the Internet."

The senator seems to fail to realize that not only has The Anarchist Cookbook been in print for decades (it's sold on Amazon!), but also has openly circulated online for nearly the same period of time. In short, removing it from the Internet would be impossible.
Botnet

Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race? 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-you-and-not-me dept.
An anonymous reader writes: We've been in a malware arms race since the 1990s. Malicious hackers keep building new viruses, worms, and trojan horses, while security vendors keep building better detection and removal algorithms to stop them. Botnets are becoming more powerful, and phishing techniques are always improving — but so are the mitigation strategies. There's been some back and forth, but it seems like the arms race has been pretty balanced, so far. My question: will the balance continue, or is one side likely to take the upper hand over the next decade or two? Which side is going to win? Do you imagine an internet, 20 years from now, where we don't have to worry about what links we click or what attachments we open? Or is it the other way around, with threats so hard to block and DDoS attacks so rampant that the internet of the future is not as useful as it is now?
Space

SpaceX's New Combustion Technologies 132

Posted by samzenpus
from the try-this-one dept.
An anonymous reader shares this story that takes a look at some of the advances SpaceX is working on. "Getting a small group of human beings to Mars and back is no easy task, we learned at the recent GPU Technology Conference in San Jose hosted graphics chip and accelerator maker Nvidia. One of the problems with such a mission is that you need a very large and efficient rocket engine to get the amount of material into orbit for the mission, explained Adam Lichtl, who is director of research at SpaceX and who with a team of a few dozen programmers is try to crack the particularly difficult task of better simulating the combustion inside of a rocket engine. You need a large engine to shorten the trip to Mars, too....Not only do you need a lot of stuff to get to Mars and sustain a colony there, but you also need a way to generate fuel on Mars to come back to Earth. All of these factors affect the design of the rocket engine....As if these were not problems enough, there is another really big issue. The computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, software that is used to simulate the movement of fluids and gases and their ignition inside of all kinds of engines is particularly bad at assisting in rocket engine design. 'Methane is a fairly simple hydrocarbon that is perfectly good as a fuel,' Lichtl said. 'The challenge here is to design an engine that works efficiently with such a compound. But rocket engine CFD is hard. Really hard.'"

Comment: Re:Sooo .. (Score 1) 127

I've been using the bluetooth trusted device for several days now with a Microsoft Band device and it seems to work pretty well. I generally only need to use my pass code unlock once a day or so. As you said, the idea is that a thief (or border agent or police) can see it as unlocked and leave and it will lock right away when it gets out of BT range. Seems like a decent security usability trade off, but of course it isn't secure enough for everyone. Fortunately we have knobs and levers like this that allow people to customize the settings to ones that are secure enough for their needs, but usable enough as well. I thought about the "on body" detection, but I don't think it will work as well for me as the BT with the Band. It is nice to have the choices though!
Bitcoin

One Year Later, We're No Closer To Finding MtGox's Missing Millions 178

Posted by Soulskill
from the crime-pays dept.
itwbennett writes: When Mt. Gox collapsed on Feb. 28, 2014, with liabilities of some ¥6.5 billion ($63.6 million), it said it was unable to account for some 850,000 bitcoins. Some 200,000 of them turned up in an old-format bitcoin wallet last March, bringing the tally of missing bitcoins to 650,000 (now worth about $180 million). In January, Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, citing sources close to a Tokyo police probe of the MtGox collapse, reported that only 7,000 of the coins appear to have been taken by hackers, with the remainder stolen through a series of fraudulent transactions. But there's still no explanation of what happened to them, and no clear record of what happened on the exchange.
Software

Ask Slashdot: Version Control For Non-Developers? 343

Posted by timothy
from the devil-is-in-the-versioning dept.
occamboy writes My spouse works at a company that deals with lots of documents (Word, spreadsheets, scans, and so forth), and they have a classic version control problem that sucks up hours of her time each week. Documents are stored on a shared server in some sort of hierarchy, but there are all kinds of problems, e.g. multiple copies get saved with slightly-different names because people are afraid of overwriting the old version 'just in case' and nobody can figure out which is the latest version, or which got sent out to a client, etc.

Version control should help, and my first thought was to use SVN with TortoiseSVN, but I'm wondering if there's something even simpler that they could use? Do the Slashdotteratti have any experiences or thoughts that they could share? The ideal solution would also make it easy to text search the document tree.
Networking

$10K Ethernet Cable Claims Audio Fidelity, If You're Stupid Enough To Buy It 418

Posted by Soulskill
from the imaginary-audio-quality-is-more-valuable-than-a-car dept.
MojoKid writes: There are few markets that are quite as loaded-up with "snake oil" products as the audio/video arena. You may have immediately thought of "Monster" cables as one of the most infamous offenders. But believe it or not, there are some vendors that push the envelope so far that Monster's $100 HDMI cables sound like a bargain by comparison. Take AudioQuest's high-end Ethernet cable, for example. Called "Diamond," AudioQuest is promising the world with this $10,500 Ethernet cable. If you, for some reason, believe that an Ethernet cable is completely irrelevant for audio, guess again. In addition to promises about the purity and smoothness of the silver conductors, and their custom "Noise-Dissipation System," they say," "Another upgrade with Diamond is a complete plug redesign, opting for an ultra-performance RJ45 connector made from silver with tabs that are virtually unbreakable. The plug comes with added strain relief and firmly lock into place ensuring no critical data is lost." Unfortunately, in this case, there's the issue of digital data being, well... digital. But hey, a 1 or a 0 could arrive at its destination so much cleaner, right?
United States

Obama Proposes One-Time Tax On $2 Trillion US Companies Hold Overseas 825

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-the-man dept.
mrspoonsi writes with news about a new proposed tax on overseas profits to help pay for a $478 billion public works program of highway, bridge and transit upgrades. President Barack Obama's fiscal 2016 budget would impose a one-time 14 percent tax on some $2 trillion of untaxed foreign earnings accumulated by U.S. companies abroad and use that to fund infrastructure projects, a White House official said. The money also would be used to fill a projected shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund. "This transition tax would mean that companies have to pay U.S. tax right now on the $2 trillion they already have overseas, rather than being able to delay paying any U.S. tax indefinitely," the official said. "Unlike a voluntary repatriation holiday, which the president opposes and which would lose revenue, the president's proposed transition tax is a one-time, mandatory tax on previously untaxed foreign earnings, regardless of whether the earnings are repatriated." In the future, the budget proposes that U.S. companies pay a 19 percent tax on all of their foreign earnings as they are earned, while a tax credit would be issued for foreign taxes paid, the official said.
Businesses

LibreOffice Gets a Streamlined Makeover With 4.4 Release 148

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
TechCurmudgeon sends word that LibreOffice 4.4 has been released. "The Document foundation announced availability of the latest version of LibreOffice on Thursday, which it says is the most beautiful version of the open source productivity suite yet. LibreOffice 4.4 also fixes some compatibility issues with files that are saved in Microsoft's OOXML formats. LibreOffice 4.4 has got a lot of UX and design love," Jan "Kendy" Holesovsky, who leads the design team for Libreoffice, said in a statement. LibreOffice 4.4 is currently available for Windows."

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.

Working...