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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 9 declined, 7 accepted (16 total, 43.75% accepted)

+ - Moving Away From IT

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "I've been working for an organization now for over seven years, my best run yet. A couple of years ago, the company went through some major changes and I bought in as an owner and as a managing director; my responsibilities encompassing administration, finance and IT. It's a small (20 employee or so, plus nearly that many with subcontracting companies) organization so needless to say I retained my direct IT responsibilities.

My fellow board members have decided that I need to detach myself from the day to day IT operations and take over more management duties; in particular in the finance and budgeting end of things. Right now I'm in the process of interviewing a new IT system administrator who will, over time, take on most of my IT roles. However, since this has been a one-man shop for seven years; namely my shop, I confess some reservations about handing over the keys and moving permanently up to the top floor.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the level of permissions for servers, networks and infrastructure I should start with? Do I, for the moment, retain some of the critical functionality; like superuser passwords, and slowly move the new system administrator into his or her role, or do I move more quickly, give him the basics and then let him fly on his own?"

+ - NASA Wants To Go To Europa->

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "From the story:

"NASA and the White House are asking Congress to bankroll a new intrastellar road trip to a destination that's sort of like the extraterrestrial Atlantis of our solar system — Jupiter's intriguing moon, Europa."

Since Europa seems one of the most likely worlds in the Solar System other than Earth where we have some hope of finding extant life, let's hope Congress gives the green light to this project."

Link to Original Source

+ - Richard Nixon Announces His Approval For Slashdot Beta 3

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "Former US president (and everyone's favorite funny man) Richard M. Nixon announced his approval of the Slashdot Beta site.

"I was just telling Pat this morning as I made sweet Nixon love to her that what the web needed was a whitespace-riddled atrocity. Slashdot Beta is the Tet Offensive of discussion sites, so screw you, you stupid hippies."

Henry Kissinger was said to have been very pleased as well. Dr. Kissinger was quoted as saying "In Soviet Russia, Slashdot betas you!""

+ - Slashdot Starting Move To Beta Site-> 1

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "According to Slashdot's blog, great progress is being made in the redesign. According to a notice on the Slashdot front page:

"MOVIN’ ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more."

According to many posters who are posting off topic, there seems little appetite for the upcoming changes."

Link to Original Source

+ - iPads banned from UK Cabinet meetings over surveillance fears-> 1

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "British securities services fear foreign intelligence agencies have developed the ability to turn mobile devices such as phones and tablets into bugs without the owner’s knowledge, allowing them to eavesdrop on confidential meetings.

According to the article, UK security services fear China, Russia and Pakistway have figured out a way to turn mobiles into microphones, and have them transmit even when they're off. Ministers in sensitive government departments have been issued with soundproof lead-lined boxes, which they must place their mobiles in when having sensitive conversations."

Link to Original Source

+ - The Guardian Releases Picture of Mangled Computer

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "The Guardian has released a picture of a computer the British authorities demanded destroyed over Edward Snowden's leak of NSA spying operations. The only problem seems to be that no hard drive is seen in the picture.

From http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/21/sending-message-miranda-gchq-nsa"
NASA

+ - Saturn's largest moon undergoes crater makeover->

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "NASA scientists say Cassini has discovered that far fewer craters on Titan than on the other moons of Saturn. The craters they have discovered are far shallower than other moons' craters and appear to be filling with hydrocarbon sand. On top of being yet another reason Titan's active geology is very cool, it adds to the mystery of where all the methane on Titan is coming from."
Link to Original Source
Science

+ - Pat Robertson Rejects Creationism->

Submitted by
MightyMartian
MightyMartian writes "From the article:

"Televangelist Pat Robertson challenged the idea that Earth is 6,000 years old this week, saying the man who many credit with conceiving the idea, former Archbishop of Ireland James Ussher, “wasn’t inspired by the Lord when he said that it all took 6,000 years.”

And further...

Before answering the question, Robertson acknowledged the statement was controversial by saying, “I know that people will probably try to lynch me when I say this.” “If you fight science, you are going to lose your children, and I believe in telling them the way it was,” Robertson concluded.

"

Link to Original Source
Crime

+ - Teen Suicide Tormenter Outed By Anonymous->

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "From the story:

The tragic story of a Canadian teen suicide victim Amanda Todd has taken another bizarre twist as the internet hacking and activist group Anonymous has named a man the group says was the girl's primary tormentor. Todd, 15, of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, died last Wednesday, a month after posting a haunting video on YouTube that cited the sexualized attack that set her down a path of anxiety, depression and drug and alcohol abuse.

This raises a whole nest of issues surrounding the presumption of innocence and vigilantism. Should the police and the courts be given the appropriate amount of time to determine if there is sufficient evidence, or if a crime has in fact been committed, or is Anonymous right in short-circuiting what might in fact be a lengthy process with no guarantee that anyone will face charges?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Neanderthal-Modern Human Interbreeding Cast In Doubt (Again)->

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "It appears that the back-and-forth debate over whether modern humans and Neanderthals has been swung back into the "unlikely" category.

According to the abstract (at PNAS):

"Recent comparisons between anatomically modern humans and ancient genomes of other hominins have raised the tantalizing, and hotly debated, possibility of hybridization. Although several tests of hybridization have been devised, they all rely on the degree to which different modern populations share genetic polymorphisms with the ancient genomes of other hominins. However, spatial population structure is expected to generate genetic patterns similar to those that might be attributed to hybridization. To investigate this problem, we take Neanderthals as a case study, and build a spatially explicit model of the shared history of anatomically modern humans and this hominin. We show that the excess polymorphism shared between Eurasians and Neanderthals is compatible with scenarios in which no hybridization occurred, and is strongly linked to the strength of population structure in ancient populations. Thus, we recommend caution in inferring admixture from geographic patterns of shared polymorphisms, and argue that future attempts to investigate ancient hybridization between humans and other hominins should explicitly account for population structure.""

Link to Original Source
Encryption

+ - Data Remanence Solutions 3

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "The company I work for has just had their government contract renewed, which is good news, giving me several more years of near-guaranteed employment!

However, in going through all the schedules and supplementary documents related to the old contract, which we will begin winding down next spring, we've discovered some pretty stiff data remanence requirements that, for hard drives at least, boil down to "they must be sent to an appropriately recognized facility for destruction."

Now keep in mind that we are the same organization that has been delivering this contract all along, so the equipment isn't going anywhere. What's more, destruction of hard drives means we have to buy new ones, which is going to cost us a lot of money, particular with prices being so high.

I've looked at using encryption as a means of destroying data, in that if you encrypt a drive or a set of files with an appropriately long and complex key, and then destroy all copies of that key, that data effectively is destroyed. I'd like to write up a report to submit to our government contract managers, and would be interested if any Slashdotters have experience with this, or have any references or citations to academic or industry papers on dealing with data remanence without destroying physical media."
Advertising

+ - Microsoft Has Lost $5.5 Billion On Bing Since 2009

Submitted by MightyMartian
MightyMartian (840721) writes "According to CNN Money, Microsoft has lost $5.5 billion on Bing since its launch in 2009. But it gets even better. If you include Microsoft's other online offerings, all the way back to 2007, the losses are somewhere in the neighborhood of $9 billion.

But not to worry, analysts expect Bing to become profitable in "three to four years"."

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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