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Spam

Couchsurfing Hacked, Sends Airbnb Prank Spam 44

Posted by timothy
from the or-we'll-shoot-this-dog dept.
Slashdot regular (and Couchsurfing.org volunteer) Bennett Haselton writes with a report that an anonymous prankster hacked the Couchsurfing.org website and sent spam to about 1 million members, snarkily advertising their commercial arch-rival Airbnb as "the new Couchsurfing." (Read on below for more on the breach.) As of now, the spam's been caught, but not the spammer.

Comment: Re:I hope not. (Score 3, Informative) 113

by MiKM (#47340983) Attached to: Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

It does, because teachers are expected to utilize methods that support common core

Could you please provide an example? I teach high school math and I have not felt pressured by the Common Core to use certain methods, so I'm genuinely curious. To me, it sounds like the real problem is with lousy administrators micromanaging teachers, not with the standards themselves.

Comment: Re:I hope not. (Score 5, Informative) 113

by MiKM (#47340307) Attached to: Is K-12 CS Education the Next Common Core?

Common Core isn't a curriculum, it's a set of standards. It does not have anything to do with homework, instruction methodology, grading rules, or anything like that. See for yourself. If your district is using shoddy curriculum like Engage NY, that is their fault.

I'm not saying that the CCSS are beyond criticism, but the criticism should be accurate.

The Internet

Demonoid BitTorrent Tracker Apparently Back Online 134

Posted by samzenpus
from the share-away dept.
Freshly Exhumed writes "TorrentFreak has broken the news that after more than a year of downtime the Demonoid tracker is back online. The tracker is linked to nearly 400,000 torrent files and more than a million peers, which makes it one of the largest working BitTorrent trackers on the Internet. There is no word yet on when the site will make a full comeback, but the people behind it say they are working to revive one of the most famous file-sharing communities. As the single largest semi-private BitTorrent tracker that ever existed, Demonoid used to offer a home to millions of file-sharers. Note that this is apparently the original Demonoid and not the d2 site that claims to be using the Demonoid database."

Comment: Why risk it? (Score 3, Insightful) 871

by MiKM (#45059355) Attached to: Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

His advice ignores the benefits of leniency if you're guilty and you're almost positive you'll be caught anyway. For most of this discussion I've been focusing on the merits of talking to the police if you're innocent. But Officer Bruch also says that if people in the interrogation room answer questions and cooperate, then even if they're ultimately convicted, the police do testify to the judge that you were cooperative, and the judge can take that into account and reduce your prison sentence. That is at least theoretically another legitimate reason to violate Professor Duane's "Don't Talk To Cops" rule, if you're 99% sure that the police will find enough evidence to convict you anyway, you can hope for leniency by cooperating.

Would it not be more beneficial for your attorney to arrange some plea deal? As somebody who is not an expert on criminal law, I would keep my mouth shut until I talked to my attorney. I'd let the expert on criminal justice decide if it was worth confessing instead of hoping for the best.

Space

Crowd-Funded Radio Beacon Will Message Aliens 196

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-there-anybody-out-there? dept.
astroengine writes "In the hope of uniting people around the globe in a long-duration project to send a radio 'message in a bottle' METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) signal, a crowd-funded project utilizing a refurbished radio telescope in California has begun its work. Lone Signal is a project initiated by scientists, businessmen and entrepreneurs to set up a continuous radio beacon from Earth. To support the operations of the Jamesburg Earth Station radio dish in Carmel Valley, Calif. (a dish built to support the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969), a crowd-funding effort has been set up so that for a small fee, users can send images to the stars. If you're content with sending a text message, your first message is free. The radio dish's first target is Gliese 526, a red dwarf star 18 light-years from Earth, but the project will be considering other stellar targets believed to be harboring habitable worlds."

Comment: Re:This is a social gimmick (Score 1) 114

According to the summary and article, you only need three of five codes. I suppose of 3 of your friends are out-of-contact, then you're SOL for the time being, but I suppose that is better than having a weaker, easier-to-compromise system. When choosing your five friends, it might be wise to select people from different circles of friends to decrease the likelihood that multiple trusted contacts are out-of-reach at once.
Crime

Stolen Laptop Owner Outwits Mugger, Police, and the Media 272

Posted by timothy
from the dirty-deeds-dragged-into-view dept.
An anonymous reader writes "What do you get mugged in Central London and the local police are too incompetent to find a mugger even with his address and photograph? You may not be able to get to the laptop, but you still own the photos and data on it, so you set up the NSFW Plumpergeddon blog which gives details of the subsequent 'owner's' 'Brick House Butts' fetishes. Now of course later the IT media might get interested and offer an interview with a promise to let him review the article and keep his name secret. luckily our hero is not so innocent and demonstrates the value of using a false name on the internet as well as planting your own monitoring software on your laptop."
Science

Growing Consensus: The Higgs Boson Exists 254

Posted by timothy
from the actually-they-just-like-to-play-with-equipment dept.
It's a long, slow road from tentative discovery, to various forms of peer review, to wide acceptance, never mind theory and experimental design, but recent years' work to pin down the Higgs Boson seem to be bearing fruit in the form of cautious announcements. FBeans writes with excerpts from both the New York Times ("Physicists announced Thursday they believe they have discovered the subatomic particle predicted nearly a half-century ago, which will go a long way toward explaining what gives electrons and all matter in the universe size and shape.") and from The Independent ("Cern says that confirming what type of boson the particle is could take years and that the scientists would need to return to the Large Hadron Collider — the world's largest 'atom smasher' — to carry out further tests. This will measure at what rate the particle decays and compare it with the results of predictions, as theorised by Edinburgh professor Peter Higgs 50 years ago.")

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