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+ - BT Unveils 1000Mbps Capable G.fast Broadband Rollout for the United Kingdom

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "The national telecoms operator for the United Kingdom, BT, has today announced that it will begin a country-wide deployment of the next generation hybrid-fibre G.fast (ITU G.9701) broadband technology from 2016/17, with most homes being told to expect speeds of up to 500Mbps (Megabits per second) and a premium service offering 1000Mbps will also be available.

At present BT already covers most of the UK with hybrid Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which delivers download speeds of up to 80Mbps by running a fibre optic cable to a local street cabinet and then using VDSL2 over the remaining copper line from the cabinet to homes. G.fast follows a similar principal, but it brings the fibre optic cable even closer to homes (often by installing smaller remote nodes on telegraph poles) and uses more radio spectrum (17-106MHz) over a shorter remaining run of copper cable (ideally less than 250 metres).

The reliance upon copper cable means that the real-world speeds for some, such as those living furthest away from the remote nodes, will probably struggle to match up to BT’s claims. Never the less many telecoms operators see this as being a more cost effective approach to broadband than deploying a pure fibre optic / Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network."

+ - Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

Submitted by Jason Koebler
Jason Koebler (3528235) writes "Leslie Caldwell, an assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, said Tuesday that the department is “very concerned” by the Google’s and Apple’s decision to automatically encrypt all data on Android and iOS devices.
“We understand the value of encryption and the importance of security,” she said. “But we’re very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a ‘zone of lawlessness,’ where there’s evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we’re prohibited from getting because of a company’s technological choices.”"

+ - Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Immediately following the Charlie Hebdo attack, Mark Zuckerberg said, "... this is what we all need to reject — a group of extremists trying to silence the voices and opinions of everyone else around the world. I won't let that happen on Facebook. I'm committed to building a service where you can speak freely without fear of violence." Now, Facebook has begun censoring images of the prophet Muhammad in Turkey. According to the Washington post, "It’s an illustration, perhaps, of how extremely complicated and nuanced issues of online speech really are. It’s also conclusive proof of what many tech critics said of Zuckerberg’s free-speech declaration at the time: Sweeping promises are all well and good, but Facebook’s record doesn't entirely back it up." To be fair to Zuckerberg and Facebook, the company must obey the law of any country in which it operates. But it stands in stark contrast to the principles espoused by its founder."
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+ - Comcast Pays Overdue Fees, Free Stuff For Time-Warner Merger Approval

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "In seeking more support for its mega-merger with Time-Warner Cable, Comcast has been going across the country giving local governments a chance to ask for favors in exchange for approving a franchise transfer. In Minneapolis, this turned up an unpaid bill of $40,000 in overdue franchise fees, so Comcast will have to pay the city money it already owed in order to get the franchise transfer. Comcast will also throw in $50,000 worth of free service and equipment.

"Thirty Minneapolis city buildings will get free basic cable for the next seven years as part of a package of concessions the city wrung out of Comcast in exchange for blessing its proposed merger with fellow cable giant Time Warner," Minnesota Public Radio reported. "Comcast has also agreed to pay Minneapolis $40,000 in overdue franchise fees after an audit found it underpaid the city for its use of the public right of way over the last three years." The article notes that getting any kind of refund out of a cable company is not easy.

Part of the deal with Minneapolis involves the spinoff of a new cable company called GreatLand Connections that will serve 2.5 million customers in the Midwest and Southeast, including Minnesota. After the deal, Comcast's franchises in those areas would be transferred to GreatLand. Such goodwill concessions may seem impressive as Comcast seeks to foster goodwill, but one wonders how Comcast/TimeWarner will behave after the merger."

+ - Interview with a pentester->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Penetration testers are often viewed as professional versions of hackers, galavanting from conference to datacentre around the world popping systems left, right and centre. The truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Raw Hex interviews John Carroll, a penetration tester in an internal bank. Interestingly, John was the first person to win a bugcrowd bug bounty and also talks about the incorrect perception of pentesters having access to some sort of black magic."
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+ - Apple posts $18B quarterly profit, highest ever by any company

Submitted by jmcbain
jmcbain (1233044) writes "Today, Apple reported its financial results for the quarter ending December 31, 2014. It posted $18 billion in profit (on $74 billion in revenue), the largest quarterly profit by any company ever. The previous record was $16 billion by Russia’s Gazprom (the largest natural gas extractor in the world) in 2011. Imagine how much better Apple could be if they open-sourced their software."

+ - Bill Nye Botches Deflate-Gate Science 1

Submitted by spiedrazer
spiedrazer (555388) writes "It looks like America's favorite non-scientist science authority has weighed in on the physics of the NE Patriots Deflate-Gate "scandal", saying that to change the pressure in a football, you need to have a needle to either let air in our out. This, of course, completely ignores the Ideal Gas Law and the effect that changing temperature would have on the pressure of the gas within the ball. MIT did a "slightly" more scientific look at the physics here and found a pretty significant effect.

I didn't realize that Bill Nye had so little science background, but from his wikipedia page: "Nye began his professional entertainment career as a writer/actor on a local sketch comedy television show in Seattle, Washington, called Almost Live!. The host of the show, Ross Shafer, suggested he do some scientific demonstrations in a six-minute segment, and take on the nickname "The Science Guy".[14] His other main recurring role on Almost Live! was as Speedwalker, a speedwalking Seattle superhero.""

+ - Ask Slashdot: GPU of choice for OpenCL on Linux?

Submitted by Bram Stolk
Bram Stolk (24781) writes "So, I am running GNU/Linux on a modern Haswell CPU, with an old Radeon HD5xxx from 2009. I'm pretty happy with the open source Gallium driver for 3D acceleration.

But now I want to do some GPGPU development using OpenCL on this box, and the old GPU will no longer cut it. What do my fellow technophiles from slashdot recommend as a replacement GPU? Go nVidia, go AMD, or just use the integrated Intel GPU instead? Bonus points for open sourced solutions. Performance not really important, but OpenCL driver maturity is."

+ - Quantum Computing Without Qubits->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "For more than 20 years, Ivan H. Deutsch has struggled to design the guts of a working quantum computer. He has not been alone. The quest to harness the computational might of quantum weirdness continues to occupy hundreds of researchers around the world. Why hasn’t there been more to show for their work? As physicists have known since quantum computing’s beginnings, the same characteristics that make quantum computing exponentially powerful also make it devilishly difficult to control. The quantum computing “nightmare” has always been that a quantum computer’s advantages in speed would be wiped out by the machine’s complexity.

Yet progress is arriving on two main fronts. First, researchers are developing unique quantum error-correction techniques that will help keep quantum processors up and running for the time needed to complete a calculation. Second, physicists are working with so-called analog quantum simulators — machines that can’t act like a general-purpose computer, but rather are designed to explore specific problems in quantum physics. A classical computer would have to run for thousands of years to compute the quantum equations of motion for just 100 atoms. A quantum simulator could do it in less than a second."

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+ - Barrett Brown, formerly of Anonymous, sentenced to 63 months

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Barrett Brown, a journalist formerly linked to the hacking group Anonymous, was sentenced Thursday to over five years in prison, or a total of 63 months. Ahmed Ghappour, Brown's attorney, confirmed to Ars that Brown's 28 months already served will count toward the sentence. That leaves 34 months, or nearly three years, left for him to serve. In April 2014, Brown took a plea deal admitting guilt on three charges: “transmitting a threat in interstate commerce,” for interfering with the execution of a search warrant, and to being "accessory after the fact in the unauthorized access to a protected computer." Brown originally was indicted in Texas federal court in December 2012 on several counts, including accusations that he posted a link from one Internet relay chat channel, called #Anonops, to another channel under his control, called #ProjectPM. The link led to private data that had been hijacked from intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting, or Statfor."

+ - The camera that changed the Universe

Submitted by StartsWithABang
StartsWithABang (3485481) writes "As the Hubble Space Telescope gets set to celebrate the 25th anniversary of opening its eyes to the Universe, it's important to realize that the first four years of operations were kind of a disaster. It wasn't until they corrected the flawed primary mirror and installed an upgraded camera — the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) — that the Universe truly came into focus. From 1993 to 2009, this workhorse camera literally changed our view of the Universe, and we're pushing even past those limits today."

+ - Sen. Sessions, calls STEM shortage a hoax, appt to head immigration->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "The Senate's two top Republican critics of temporary worker immigration, specifically the H-1B and L-1 visas, now hold the two most important immigration posts in the Senate. They are Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who heads the Senate's Judiciary Committee, and his committee underling, Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who was appointed by Grassley on Thursday to head the immigration subcommittee. Sessions was appointed one week after accusing the tech industry of perpetuating a "hoax" by claiming there is a shortage of qualified U.S. tech workers. "The tech industry's promotion of expanded temporary visas — such as the H-1B — and green cards is driven by its desire for cheap, young and immobile labor," wrote Sessions, in a memo he sent last week to fellow lawmakers. Sessions, late Thursday, issued a statement about his new role as immigration subcommittee chairman, and said the committee "will give voice to those whose voice has been shut out,” and that includes “the voice of the American IT workers who are being replaced with guest workers.""
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