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+ - Ask Slashdot best way to solve a unique networking issue

Submitted by petro-tech
petro-tech writes: I work as a service technician, maintaining and repairing gas pumps and POS equipment.

In my day to day activities, one that consumes a ton of time and is relatively regular is the process of upgrading the software on pumps.
This is done by connecting to the pump via direct ethernet from my laptop, then running a manufacturer provided program that connects to the device and pushes the new software.

Some sites have 8+ pumps with 2 devices in each, and at 20-30 minutes apiece this can be quite time consuming.

Unfortunately the devices are not actually on a network, and as such cannot be updated remotely, also since they are not on a network, they are all configured with the same IP address. Additionally the software doesn't allow you to specify the adapter to use.

I would like to be able to get to a site, connect a cable to each pump, and load them all at the same time.

The only way I can figure to accomplish this with the software we've been provided is to do this:

Get a 16 port powered usb hub, with a usb-ethernet adaptor in each port. Set up 16 VM's with extremely stripped down XP running on each, with only one usb-ethernet adaptor assigned to each VM. Set xp to boot the application for loading software as its shell. and load each device that way at the same time.

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

+ - Satellites make a load of difference to bridge safety->

Submitted by __roo
__roo writes: In an effort to detect crumbling infrastructure before it causes damage and costs lives, the European Space Agency is working with the UK’s University of Nottingham to monitor the movements of large structures as they happen using satellite navigation sensors. The team uses highly sensitive satnav receivers that transmit real-time data to detect movements as small as 1 cm combined with historical Earth observation satellite data. By placing sensors at key locations on the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland, they detected stressed structural members and unexpected deformations.
Link to Original Source

+ - The Problem of "Teaching the Controversy" in Infosec

Submitted by MrBingoBoingo
MrBingoBoingo writes: Recently a group calling itself No Such lAbs created a service called the Phuctor and began digesting an sks keyserver dump and began finding weak keys, beginning with a subkey attached to Kernel developer hpa's key which was divisible by three. In the aftermath discussion of the issue was hijacked by social engineers who immediately set to growing a controversy and instead of discussing how to mitigate similar issues in the future or identify the problem tat created this scenario, insisted there was no problem at all.

+ - FTC Recommends Conditions for Sale of RadioShack Customer Data->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has weighed in on the contentious issue of the proposed sale of consumer data by bankrupt retailer RadioShack, recommending that a model be adopted based on a settlement the agency reached with failed online toy retailer Toysmart.com. Jessica L. Rich, director of the FTC’s bureau of consumer protection, said in a letter to a court-appointed consumer privacy ombudsman that the agency’s concerns about the transfer of customer information inconsistent with RadioShack’s privacy promises 'would be greatly diminished' if certain conditions were met, including that the data was not sold standalone, and if the buyer is engaged in substantially the same lines of business as RadioShack, and expressly agrees to be bound by and adhere to the privacy policies.
Link to Original Source

+ - Genetically engineered yeast makes it possible to brew morphine->

Submitted by PvtVoid
PvtVoid writes: The New York times reports that newly developed yeast strains will soon make it possible to create morphine from fermentation of sugar:

This rapid progress in synthetic biology has set off a debate about how — and whether — to regulate it. Dr. Oye and other experts said this week in a commentary in Nature Chemical Biology that drug-regulatory authorities are ill prepared to control a process that will benefit the heroin trade much more than the prescription painkiller industry. The world should take steps to head that off, they argue, by locking up the bioengineered yeast strains and restricting access to the DNA that would let drug cartels reproduce them.

Link to Original Source

+ - "Eco-friendly" Buffett Seeks to "Squash" Nevada Rooftop Solar->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: Warren Buffett highlights how his Berkshire Hathaway Inc. utilities make massive investments in renewable energy. Meanwhile, in Nevada, the company is fighting a plan that would encourage more residents to use green power.

Berkshire's NV Energy, the state's dominant utility, opposes the proposal to increase a cap on the amount of energy that can be generated with solar panels by residents who sell power back to the grid in a practice known as net metering.

While the billionaire's famed holding company has reaped tax credits from investing in wind farms and solar arrays, net metering is often seen by utilities as a threat. Buffett wants his managers to protect competitive advantages, said Jeff Matthews, an investor and author of books about Berkshireâ¦

In an April presentation to investors, NV Energy laid out its strategy for addressing the growth of home solar. The utility said it would "lobby to hold the subsidized net-metering cap at current 3 percent of peak demand"...

Sellers of rooftop-solar panels are pushing Nevada legislators to raise the cap, and one plan called for the ceiling to be lifted to 10 percent. Nevada State Senator Patricia Farleysaid she is proposing that Nevada's utility regulator study the issue before lawmakers act.

"Across the country the utility industry is pressuring regulators and elected officials to limit solar energy's growth, and the same thing is happening in Nevada," said Gabe Elsner, executive director of the Energy & Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based clean energy think tank. "NV Energy is trying to protect their monopoly by squashing competitors."

The bottom line: it's all about the bottom line for Buffett.

Link to Original Source

+ - Swedish Supreme Court Upholds Warrant For Julian Assange->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Sweden's Supreme Court recently granted a hearing for Julian Assange's appeal of the warrant issued to apprehend and deport him to Sweden for questioning. The court saw no valid reason to withdraw the warrant so it remains in force, and Julian Assange is still a wanted man. Assange's lawyer has stated that they now plan to appeal to international courts. Assange's lawyer stated that, "the Swedish court had not taken into account "unjustified" delays in the case and the "de facto" detention of Assange, who would be arrested if he ventured outside the embassy where he has been holed up for three years." The prospects for success of the "runaway defence" remains an open question.
Link to Original Source

+ - Linux Dev's Purported 4096 bit RSA Key Factored 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A PGP subkey for Kernel developer Peter Anvin from a public Sks Keyserver was discovered to be divisible by 3. The weak key was discovered by a web service which calls itself the Phuctor which has since factored two other keys as a chews on an sks keyserver dump. Whether the key was generated weak or if it was strong before becoming corrupted on a keyserver it is extremely troubling that such a weak key representing such an important Linux developer could be served.

+ - Egg White in the Production of Nanoparticles

Submitted by Qualitypointtech
Qualitypointtech writes: Researchers proposed the application of egg white as the size-controlling agent in the production of oxide nanoparticles.Using fresh egg white (EW),they synthesis of size-controlled ceria nanopowders (CeO2-NPs) as an eco-friendly foamy substrate.Pure amino acids are usually expensive. However, egg white has been used directly in this research due to its availability and reasonable price.

+ - $10 billion wasted on military projects

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: In the past decade the Pentagon's Missile Defence Agency has wasted $10 billion on defense projects that were either impractical and impossible.

There's no single quote about the absurd stupidity of these projects because the article is filled with so many. Read it all and weep. However, here is one quote which indicates who we should blame:

President George W. Bush, in 2002, ordered an urgent effort to field a homeland missile defense system within two years. In their rush to make that deadline, Missile Defense Agency officials latched onto exotic, unproven concepts without doing a rigorous analysis of their cost and feasibility. Members of Congress whose states and districts benefited from the spending tenaciously defended the programs, even after their deficiencies became evident.

We get the government we deserve. Until we stop electing candidates (from either party) who promise pork, we will continue to get pork, and waste, and a society that is steadily going bankrupt.

+ - Firefox's Opportunistic Encryption Turns into an Opportunity for Hackers->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro writes: Barely a week ago, Mozilla released Firefox 37, with a key new feature being Opportunistic Encryption. The basic idea behind Opportunistic Encryption is that it acts to encrypt data that might have otherwise been sent by a user over clear text. It's a great opportunity to improve the security of the web, but as it turns out, it's also another opportunity for hackers to exploit users. Mozilla has already issued Firefox 37.0.1 removing Opportunistic Encryption after a security vulnerability was reported in the underlying Alternative Services capability that helps to enable Opportunistic Encryption.

"We plan to re-enable this feature once we've had time to fully investigate the issue," Chad Weiner, director of product management at Mozilla said. /blockquote


Link to Original Source

+ - Turning The Arduino Uno Into An Apple ][->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: To demonstrate how powerful modern computers are compared to their forebears, engineer Damian Peckett decided to approximate an Apple ][ with an Arduino Uno. In this post, he explains how he did it, from emulating the 6502 processor to reinventing how characters were displayed on the screen. "The Apple II used a novel approach for video generation, at the time most microcomputers used an interlaced frame buffer where adjacent rows were not stored sequently in memory. This made it easier to generate interlaced video. The Apple II took this approach one step further, using an 8:1 interlacing scheme. This had the first line followed by the ninth line. This approach allowed Steve Wozniak to avoid read/write collisions with the video memory without additional circuitry. A very smart hack!" Peckett includes code implementations and circuit diagrams.
Link to Original Source

+ - Snowden statue in NY->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A statue of Snowden showed up in Brooklyn. As quickly as it showed up, it was even more quickly removed. Apart from this, the bust was also hidden by a blue tarp so that New Yorkers do not get any ideas.
  Still, it is nice to see civil disobedience did not completely die in this nation.

Link to Original Source

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