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Submission Summary: 3 pending, 25 declined, 11 accepted (39 total, 28.21% accepted)

+ - Gmail is no longer acceptable - Slashdot, please opine on alternatives! 6

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Bettering security, I enable a VPN now (Avast Secureline) before accessing my banking and any other financial sites. Difficulty: gmail then thinks I'm a bot, and requires a captcha. In the past, after a few days of answering captchas, Google disabled access to my gmail, without recourse. It lasted 48 hours. I don't need this happening again. So, Google has now gone far enough IMHO. I need a reliable, secure email provider, with calendaring. So, (ahem, apprehensively) /.r's, you know the history (and can you see into the future?) of this sordid tale, what email service do -you- recommend to keep -my- email communications private? Or do you succumb idly to the false sense of security that accompanies the services of the almighty Goog?

(with a semi-faux-sheepish, yet vaguely wicked grin)"

+ - New Snowden Revelation: GCHQ/NSA 'Manipulate, Deceive And Destroy Reputations'

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Extracted from the recent Snowden cache, Glenn Greenwald at NBC News has posted a GCHQ presentation demonstrating how the NSA incubated a covert "dirty tricks" group known as JTRIG — the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group. The purpose of JTRIG is to infiltrate groups online and destroys people's reputations — going far beyond terrorist threats to national security.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums.

NSA and GCHQ were self-described "signals intelligence" agencies, supposedly merely understanding and decoding signals, without taking offensive action. The Snowden docs have now revealed that the mandate of these organizations swings to the offensive, and they actively employ tactics which destroy people's lives to meet their own agendas.

Is this really a power you want to trust — a secretive government agency without any accountable oversight?"

+ - Falcon Heavy To Be Reusable: Animation

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Despite SpaceX's recent epic fail, aka Elon's RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly) event, or depending on how you look at it, their most recent almost-success, Falcon Heavy is slated to be the world’s most powerful rocket when it flies, and will also attempt to return it’s core stage and boosters for rapid refurbishment and reuse, as this animation demonstrates. SpaceX is confident its accuracy will be sufficient to park the booster elements on land near the process and re-launch site.

Now with bonus Infographic: SpaceX's Huge Falcon Heavy Rocket: How It Works"

+ - Omand Warns Of 'Ethically Worse' Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "In their attempts to kill off strong encryption once and for all, top officials of the intelligence services are coming out with increasingly hyperbolic statements about why this should be done. Now, a former head of GCHQ, Sir David Omand has said: "One of the results of Snowden is that companies are now heavily encrypting [communications] end to end. Intelligence agencies are not going to give up trying to get the bad guys. They will have to get closer to the bad guys. I predict we will see more close access work." According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which reported his words from a talk he gave earlier this week, by this he meant things like physical observation, bugging rooms, and breaking into phones or computers. "You can say that will be more targeted but in terms of intrusion into personal privacy — collateral intrusion into privacy — we are likely to end up in an ethically worse position than we were before." That's remarkable for its implied threat: if you don't let us ban or backdoor strong encryption, we're going to start breaking into your homes."

+ - Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In The Public Domain

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "While you can make a public domain dedication or (more recently) use the Creative Commons CC0 tool to do so, there's no clear way within the law to actually declare something in the public domain. Instead, the public domain declarations are really more of a promise not to make use of the exclusionary rights provided under copyright.

On the "public domain day" of Copyright Week, Public Knowledge has pointed out that it's time that it became much easier to put things into the public domain. Specifically, the PK post highlights that thanks to the way copyright termination works, even someone who puts their works into the public domain could pull them back out of the public domain after 35 years."

+ - King Tut's Mask Damaged; Beard Snapped Off During Cleaning

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "One of the most priceless treasures in archaeology, the gold funerary mask of King Tutankhamun, was damaged during a cleaning attempt at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Efforts to repair the problem were also botched, according to reports.

The mask's beard snapped off during an attempt to clean the mask in October. Museum staff stuck it back on using epoxy, which leaked onto the face of the mask and dried. Then, the mask was scratched when the workers scraped off the epoxy, according to Al Araby Al Jadeed, a London-based Arabic news site."

+ - Step 1: Rent Your Unused Disk Space, Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit! 3

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "There is a new idea out there, proposed by Shawn Wilkinson, Tome Boshevski & Josh Brandof, that if you have unused disk space on your HD that you should rent it out. It is a great idea and the concept may have a whole range of implementations.

The 3 guys describe their endeavor as: Storj.

Storj is a peer-to-peer cloud storage network implementing end-to-end encryption would allow users to transfer and share data without reliance on a third party data provider. The removal of central controls would eliminate most traditional data failures and outages, as well as significantly increasing security, privacy, and data control. A peer-to-peer network and basic encryption serve as a solution for most problems, but we must offer proper incentivisation for users to properly participate in this network."

+ - Apple Awarded Patent for... (drumroll) an Electronic Stylus!

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Apple today was awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a digital stylus that translates a user's handwritten note into a digital version when connected to a smartphone, tablet, or any "digital computing device"

Is it just me, or is this so obvious it's downright painful?"

+ - Court Ruling: EA's Anti-Piracy Software Infringes on Troll's Patent

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "Between the company's general disposition and the incredible failure of the SimCity launch, Electronic Arts is becoming a name associated directly with digital rights management. The most infamous DRM platform the company has used is probably SecuROM, which was noteworthy for being equal parts mega-annoying to paying customers, as well as being so massively ineffective that games employing SecuROM later became amongst the most pirated video games of all time.

But, results aside, EA would tell you that it needed to use DRM to protect the company from piracy. Even if SecuROM failed, the company had to at least try, or else the freeloaders that live the highlife getting around intellectual property laws would win. Violating IP laws is wrong, damn it, and EA was going to do everything in its power to right that wrong.

Including violating a notorious patent troll's intellectual property to do so, apparently — at least, according to an East Texas court, which awarded Uniloc nearly $5 million after determining that EA violated the patent troll's patent with the SecuROM platform.

I have to admit, I feel a bit like the characters at the end of the original Jurassic Park movie, who were being attacked by velociraptors only to be saved at the last moment by the tyrannosaurus rex that had nearly murdered them all earlier. You don't really root for either side; you can only pray they tear each other apart."

+ - Athabascan enigma: weird circular 2km blemish on the surface of Mars->

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "THIS one’s for real. Forget the faces and the pyramids: An odd ‘boil’ on the face of Mars has scientists scrambling for an explanation.

The weird circular blemish, some 2km in diameter, recently appeared in an image beamed back from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It leaps out at the camera in an area otherwise unusually smooth for the Red planet.

And that in itself could be a clue as to what it actually is."

Link to Original Source

+ - Is Nearsightedness Our Next Epidemic?->

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "In the early 1970s, about 25 percent of 12- to 54-year-old Americans were myopic. By the 2000s, more than 41 percent had the condition. Researchers have trouble finding non-myopic controls for their studies, and clinicians see children as young as 4 with severe myopia.

Other countries, particularly those in East Asia where schooling starts earlier and lasts longer each day, have beat us to the chase. In Singapore, for one, the military realized it could no longer rule out recruits due to nearsightedness; there would be too few prospects left.

In Taiwan, the myopia prevalence among 7-year-olds increased from 5.8 percent in 1983 to 21 percent in 2000. And in South Korea, a large, representative study of 19-year-olds showed that more than 96 percent were myopic in 2010. “So you can pretty much say everybody’s myopic” there.

That’s a problem because myopia – characterized by eyeballs that are more egg-shaped than spherical – is linked with a higher risk for various eye diseases such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts."

Link to Original Source

+ - Printing 3D Sex Toys At UPS Is Now A Reality->

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "At UPS, you might be able to pick up a different kind of package.

The company began offering 3D printing services over the past couple of months, and UPS rules don’t explicitly prohibit customers from using those printers to create sex toys. A UPS representative told the site they won’t allow patrons to print out items like weapons but when asked about sex toys, the rep said there’s no company-wide rule against them.

Free downloadable sex toy patterns for 3D printers can already be found for free on the net.

Is it possible, that like the exponential growth of the the early Internet being spawned by the driving force of porn becoming so available, could the new, easy availbility of custom-fit sex-related items and clothing do the same for 3D printing? I'm feeling a sexy cosplay coming on..."

Link to Original Source

+ - The next natural step - night vision capable smartphones.->

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "If Steve Jobs were here, this might have already happened — it's just one of those upgrades that seems blindingly obvious in hindsight. But thanks to Psy Corporation, maybe our tech can achieve at least one capability that the I-Everything visionary might have envisioned — night-vision-capable smartphones.

Launching a crowdsource funding campaign starting tomorrow on HWTrek.com, Psy Corporation is aiming to raise $60,000 to help bring the Snooperscope to fruition. Read on..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Four-winged robot flies like a jellyfish->

Submitted by Press2ToContinue
Press2ToContinue (2424598) writes "A four-winged design causes this bot to float in the air like a jellyfish does in water, has no electronics, and is more stable in the air than insect-like machines.

The prototype consists of a carbon-fibre frame surrounded by two pairs of thin plastic wings that open and close when driven by a motor. Its shape allows it to fly upright with little effort, without requiring sensors or intelligence to adjust its wings like those used by insects."

Link to Original Source

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes

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