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+ - 'Citizenfour' Producers Sued Over Edward Snowden Leaks->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Hollywood Reporter reports, "Horace Edwards, who identifies himself as a retired naval officer and the former secretary of the Kansas Department of Transportation, has filed a lawsuit in Kansas federal court that seeks a constructive trust over monies derived from the distribution of Citizenfour. Edwards ... seeks to hold Snowden, director Laura Poitras, The Weinstein Co., Participant Media and others responsible for "obligations owed to the American people" and "misuse purloined information disclosed to foreign enemies." It's an unusual lawsuit, one that the plaintiff likens to "a derivative action on behalf of the American Public," and is primarily based upon Snowden's agreement with the United States to keep confidentiality. ... Edwards appears to be making the argument that Snowden's security clearance creates a fiduciary duty of loyalty — one that was allegedly breached by Snowden's participation in the production of Citizenfour without allowing prepublication clearance review. As for the producers and distributors, they are said to be "aiding and abetting the theft and misuse of stolen government documents." The lawsuit seeks a constructive trust to redress the alleged unjust enrichment by the film. A 1980 case that involved a former CIA officer's book went up to the Supreme Court and might have opened the path to such a remedy ... ""
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+ - Comcast's Lobbyists Hands Out VIP Cards To Skip the Wait->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A lengthy story about how David Gregory lost his job hosting Meet the Press holds an interesting tidbit: Comcast's team of lobbyists regularly hands out VIP cards to influential (and influence-able) people in Washington that lets them bypass normal customer service and fast-track their support problems. "Its government-affairs team carried around 'We'll make it right' cards stamped with 'priority assistance' codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service. A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable." (The David Gregory article is worth a look, too; it shows how Comcast's purchase of NBC has led to interference in NBC's attempts at real journalism.)"
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+ - How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans to Live 120 Years

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Bloomberg News reports that venture capitalist and paypal co-founder Peter Thiel has a plan to reach 120 years of age. His secret — taking human growth hormone (HGH) every day, a special Paleo diet, and a cure for cancer within ten years. "[HGH] helps maintain muscle mass, so you’re much less likely to get bone injuries, arthritis,” says Thiel. “There’s always a worry that it increases your cancer risk but — I’m hopeful that we’ll get cancer cured in the next decade.” Human growth hormone also known as somatotropin or somatropin, is a peptide hormone that stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration in humans and other animals. Thiel says he also follows a Paleo diet, doesn’t eat sugar, drinks red wine and runs regularly. The Paleolithic diet, also popularly referred to as the caveman diet, Stone Age diet and hunter-gatherer diet, is a modern nutritional diet designed to emulate, insofar as possible using modern foods, the diet of wild plants and animals eaten by humans during the Paleolithic era. Thiel’s Founders Fund is also investing in a number of biotechnology companies to extend human lifespans, including Stem CentRx Inc., which uses stem cell technology for cancer therapy. With the 70 plus years remaining him and inspired by "Atlas Shrugged," Thiel also plans to launch a floating sovereign nation in international waters, freeing him and like-minded thinkers to live by libertarian ideals with no welfare, looser building codes, no minimum wage, and few restrictions on weapons."

+ - Anthropologist Gusterson on the language of torture->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Powerful piece on the torture report: 'As an anthropologist, I am fascinated by the term “enhanced interrogation.” It must surely take pride of place in the American lexicon of government euphemisms for violence, alongside such phrases from nuclear discourse as “collateral damage” (for the mass killing of civilians), “event” (for a nuclear explosion), “countervalue strike” (for the nuclear destruction of a city), “surgical strike” (a targeted strike with nuclear weapons), and “clean bombs” (nuclear weapons designed to optimize blast over radiation).'"
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+ - Ask Slashdot: So now that .NET's going open source...? 1

Submitted by Rob Y.
Rob Y. (110975) writes "The discussion on Slashdot about Microsoft's move to open source .NET core has centered on

1. whether this means Microsoft is no longer the enemy of the open source movement
2. if not, then does it mean Microsoft has so lost in the web server arena that it's resorting to desperate moves.
3. or nah — it's standard MS operating procedure. Embrace, extend, extinguish.

What I'd like to ask is whether anybody that's not currently a .NET fan actually wants to use it. Open Source or not. What is the competition? Java? PHP? Ruby? Node-js? All of the above? Anything but Microsoft? Because as an OSS advocate, I see only one serious reason to even consider using it — standardization. Any of those competing platforms could be as good or better, but the problem is — how to get a job in this industry when there are so many, massively complex platforms out there. I'm still coding in C, and at 62, will probably live out my working days doing that, but I can still remember when learning a new programming language was no big deal. Even C required learning a fairly large library to make it useful, but it's nothing compared to what's out there today. And worse, jobs (and technologies) don't last like they used to. Odds are, in a few years, you'll be starting over in yet another job where they use something else.

Employers love standardization. Choosing a standard means you can't be blamed for your choice. Choosing a standard means you can recruit young, cheap developers and actually get some output from them before they move on. Or you can outsource with some hope of success (because that's what outsourcing firms do — recruit young, cheap devs and rotate them around).

To me, those are red flags — not pluses at all. But they're undeniable pluses to greedy employers. Of course, there's much more to being an effective developer than knowing the platform so you can be easily slotted in to a project. But try telling that to the private equity guys running too much of the show these days...

So, assuming MS is 'sincere' about this open source move (big assumption),

1. is .NET up to the job?
2. Is there an Open Source choice today that's popular enough to be considered the standard that employers would like?
3. If the answer to 1 is yes and 2 is no, make the argument for avoiding .NET."

+ - Deepest Dwelling Creatures On Earth Discovered By College Students->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Whitman biology professor Paul Yancey and students Anna Downing '16 and Chloe Weinstock '17 have returned from the first detailed study of the Mariana Trench aboard Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor.

The Mariana Trench — located in the Western Pacific near Guam — has been the focus of high-profile voyages to conquer Challenger Deep, the deepest place on Earth. This recent expedition to the Trenchonboard Research Vessel Falkor targeted multiple depths and found active thriving communities of animals. The expedition set many new records, including the deepest rock samples ever collected and the discovery of new fish species at the greatest depths ever recorded.

New species were discovered on this expedition that will provide insight into the physiological adaptations of animals to this high-pressure environment. This research is being conducted in the lab of Whitman College'sProfessor of Biology Paul Yancey. In the past, Yancey and his students, working on animals from moderate depths, discovered certain organic molecules that protect the cells of deep-sea animals from the effects of high pressure, which distorts proteins such as enzymes. These kinds of protective molecules are also being tested to treat human diseases that are caused by malformed proteins, such as cystic fibrosis. Additionally, his work on protective molecules in fishes predicted that fish would not be able to live below about 8,200 meters (27,060 feet). Prior to this expedition, the deepest documented fish was from 7,700 meters (25,410 feet).

The expedition also broke several records for the deepest living fish either caught or seen on video. Setting the record at 8,143 meters, (26,872 feet) was a completely unknown variety of snail fish, which stunned scientists when it was filmed several times during sea floor experiments. The white translucent fish had broad wing-like fins and an eel-like tail, and slowly glided over the bottom."

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+ - 65,000 Complaints Later, Microsoft Files Suit Against Tech Support Scammers-> 2

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Tech support scammers have been around for a long time and are familiar to most Slashdot readers. But last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had issued lawsuits against several culprits responsible for tech support scams. Now Microsoft has announced that it too is going after tech support scammers. According to the company, more than 65,000 complaints have been made about tech support scams since May of this year alone. Bogus technicians, pretending to represent Microsoft, call the house offering fake tech support and trick people into paying hundreds of dollars to solve a non-existent issue. If successful in their ruse, the scammer then gains access to a person's computer, which lets them steal personal and financial information and even install malware."
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+ - TOR network may be attacked->

Submitted by Earthquake Retrofit
Earthquake Retrofit (1372207) writes "The Register is reporting that the Tor Project has warned that its network – used to mask peoples' identities on the internet – may be knocked offline in the coming days.

In a Tor blog post (https://blog.torproject.org) project leader Roger "arma" Dingledine said an unnamed group may seize Tor's directory authority servers before the end of next week. These servers distribute the official lists of relays in the network, which are the systems that route users' traffic around the world to obfuscate their internet connections' public IP addresses."

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+ - 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."

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+ - ISS astronaut needs a wrench, NASA successfully 'emails' him one->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "An astronaut aboard the International Space Station needed a socket wrench, so NASA engineers emailed him designs for 3D-printing one. What a world we're living in.

Before 3D printing, if astronauts needed something that wasn't already aboard the ISS, they would have to wait several months for the next shuttle to arrive. Now, scientists and engineers on the ground can design whatever the astronauts might need, and send the file directly to the 3D printer aboard the ISS to be printed and used immediately. A post on Medium by Made in Space co-founder Mike Chen outlines the process.

Made in Space is the group created to design, build and ultimately send a zero-gravity 3D printer to the ISS. The company heard that Wilmore needed a ratcheting socket wrench, and fired up its CAD (computer-aided design and drafting) software and designed one. Once the design for the wrench was complete, they converted it to a 3D-printer-ready format called G-code, and sent it over to NASA, which beamed it up to the ISS where it was printed automatically.

The wrench, as well as the 20 other objects that have been 3D-printed on the ISS thus far, will be sent back to Earth for further analysis. Made in Space plans to compare these 21 objects to identical 3D-printed objects that were printed on Earth to test things like the effect of long-term microgravity on the 3D-printing process so they can model and predict how well things printed in space will hold up in the future. From there, they can further enhance their 3D printer and printing technology to build better objects for use in space.

So, now that scientists have successfully emailed plans for an object to be 3D-printed aboard the ISS, it's only a matter of time before they figure out how to Snapchat or Yo the designs to space."

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+ - Researchers discover SS7 flaw, allowing total access to ANY cell phone anywhere.->

Submitted by krakman
krakman (1121803) writes "Researchers discovered security flaws in SS7 that allow listening to private phone calls and intercepting text messages on a potentially massive scale – even when cellular networks are using the most advanced encryption now available.

The flaws, to be reported at a hacker conference in Hamburg this month, are actually functions built into SS7 for other purposes – such as keeping calls connected as users speed down highways, switching from cell tower to cell tower – that hackers can repurpose for surveillance because of the lax security on the network. It is thought that these flaws were used for bugging Chancellor Merkels phone earlier.

Those skilled at the housekeeping functions built into SS7 can locate callers anywhere in the world, listen to calls as they happen or record hundreds of encrypted calls and texts at a time for later decryption. There also is potential to defraud users and cellular carriers by using SS7 functions, the researchers say.

Another result of Security being thought of after the fact, as opposed to part of the initial design."

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