Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


+ - Pakistanis face a deadline: Surrender fingerprints or give up cellphone->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Cellphones didn’t just arrive in Pakistan. But someone could be fooled into thinking otherwise, considering the tens of millions of Pakistanis pouring into mobile phone stores these days.

In one of the world’s largest — and fastest — efforts to collect biometric information, Pakistan has ordered cellphone users to verify their identities through fingerprints for a national database being compiled to curb terrorism. If they don’t, their service will be shut off, an unthinkable option for many after a dozen years of explosive growth in cellphone usage here.

Prompted by concerns about a proliferation of illegal and untraceable SIM cards, the directive is the most visible step so far in Pakistan’s efforts to restore law and order after Taliban militants killed 150 students and teachers at a school in December. Officials said the six terrorists who stormed the school in Peshawar were using cellphones registered to one woman who had no obvious connection to the attackers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Mac OS X And iOS Top Report Of Most Vulnerable Operating Systems->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "Conventional wisdom in years past was that hackers didn't bother to exploit Apple's OS X operating system because its relatively insignificant market share didn't warrant wasting resources to attack it. The reasoning was, why bother with OS X when Windows was pushing over 90 percent of the worldwide OS market? However, in recent years, Apple has seen an uptick and pretty much dominates when it comes to notebooks priced over $1,000. The higher sales profile for Macs running OS X also means more attention from hackers and malware. A new report shows that both of Apple's major operating systems sat atop the leaderboard when it came to the number of security vulnerabilities during 2014. OS X took top honors with 147 vulnerabilities, 64 of which were labeled as "high risk". iOS took the number two position with 127 vulnerabilities, 32 of which were high risk. Rounding out the top three was the Linux kernel, with 119 total vulnerabilities including 24 high risk, while most Windows versions only had 34 — 38 vulnerabilities in total on average. When it comes to applications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer led the list with 242 total vulnerabilities, nearly twice that of the next closest entry, Google Chrome, with 124 total vulnerabilities."
Link to Original Source

+ - NVIDIA Re-Enables GeForce 900M Overclocking

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "One week after NVIDIA disabled overclocking on their GeForce 900M mobility lineup, a representative of the company has reported that NVIDIA will be bringing back the disabled feature for their overclocking enthusiasts on the mobility front. On the GeForce Forums he writes: "We heard from many of you that you would like this feature enabled again. So, we will again be enabling overclocking in our upcoming driver release next month for those affected notebooks. If you are eager to regain this capability right away, you can also revert back to 344.75.""

+ - SPAM: Entire drugs stock to fight swine influenza in state bear termination date

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Incredible tho' it should sound, it is true. All the medication that the hospitals within the state ought to fight swine influenza square measure terminated. At a time once there's panic across the state over the infection within the wake of a patient testing positive for H1N1 virus, this shows however unequipped the care system is to subsume any contingency."
Link to Original Source

+ - VLC Acquiring Lots of New Features

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Two weekends ago an update on the VLC media player was shared during a presentation in Brussels at FOSDEM. Lead developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf covered VLC's continued vibrant development and features that are coming for VLC 2.2 along with VLC 3.0. VLC 2.2.0 will feature automatic, GPU-accelerated video rotation support, extension improvements, resume handling, support for new codecs/formats and rewrites to some of the existing formats, VDPAU GPU zero-copy support, x265 encoder support, etc. Further out is VLC 3.0.0, which is planned to have Wayland support, GPU zero-copy support for OpenMAX IL, ARIB subtitle support, HEVC / VP9 hardware decoding on Android, a rework of the MP4 and TS demuxers, and browsing improvements. The VLC FOSDEM 2015 presentation is available in PDF form. The VLC Git shortlog can be used to follow the development of the project."

+ - Jon Stewart leaving "The Daily Show"

Submitted by slimjim8094
slimjim8094 (941042) writes "According to the NYT, Jon Stewart is leaving "The Daily Show". This was announced during the taping of this evening's show. He will “remain at the helm of ‘The Daily Show’ until later this year,” but no word on exactly when the change will take place, or what the replacement (host or show) will be. Presumably the current and past correspondents would be the first choice for a new host.

His program will be sorely missed by at least this viewer. Maybe Comedy Central can get John Oliver out of his HBO show..."

+ - Wasp virus turns ladybugs into zombie babysitters->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "The green-eyed wasp Dinocampus coccinellae turns ladybugs into zombie babysitters. Three weeks after a wasp lays its egg inside the hapless beetle, a wasp larva bursts from her belly and weaves itself a cocoon between her legs. The ladybug doesn’t die, but becomes paralyzed, involuntarily twitching her spotted red carapace to ward off predators until the adult wasp emerges a week later. How D. coccinellae enslaves its host at just the right time had been a mystery, but now researchers believe the insect has an accomplice: a newly identified virus that attacks the beetle’s brain. The findings raise questions about whether other parasites also use viruses as neurological weapons."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ross Ulbricht Found Guilty On All 7 Counts In Silk Road Trial

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "Ross Ulbricht was convicted on Wednesday of running Silk Road, a Dark Net black market that became over a $100 million Internet phenomenon before Ulbricht’s 2013 arrest.

Ulbricht was found guilty on all seven felony charges he faced, including drug trafficking, continuing a criminal enterprise, hacking, money laundering, and fraud with identification documents. He faces up to life in prison for these convictions."

+ - FCC calls blocking of personal Wi-Fi hotspots "disturbing trend"->

Submitted by alphadogg
alphadogg (971356) writes "The FCC on Tuesday warned that it will no longer tolerate hotels, convention centers or others intentionally interfering with personal Wi-Fi hotspots. This issue grabbed headlines last fall when Marriott International was fined $600K for blocking customer Wi-Fi hotspots, presumably to encourage the guests to pay for pricey Internet access from the hotel."
Link to Original Source

+ - This Temporary Tattoo Measures Glucose Levels In Blood ->

Submitted by Diggester
Diggester (2492316) writes "The wretched plague of diabetes has wrought death upon this earth for many decades now and patients wrestle with the disease every day of their lives. It may sound funny to many that someone can’t eat cake or pizza or chocolate for the rest of their lives without worrying about the immediate consequences but it is hell when you can’t enjoy the bounties laid out before you. Thus endeth the sermon; on to the story. Scientists from the University of California, San Diego have invented a temporary tattoo that can read glucose levels in the blood."
Link to Original Source

+ - Carnivorous pitcher plant "out-thinks" insects->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A carnivorous pitcher plant is changing its behavior in response to natural weather fluctuations, allowing it to give up its prey in order to capture more.

The pitcher plant, which has liquid-filled leaves shaped like funnels, has the ability to allow some of its prey, such as ants, to escape by “switching off” its trap."

The first ant reports back to the other ants that it found a large batch of sweet nectar, causing a large contingent of ants to descend upon it. If the trap captures the first ant, it won’t be able to capture many more ants later."

Link to Original Source

+ - NSA Official: Supporting Backdoored Random Number Generator was 'Regrettable"

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "In a new article in an academic math journal, the NSA’s director of research says that the agency’s decision not to withdraw its support of the Dual EC_DRBG random number generator after security researchers found weaknesses in it and questioned its provenance was a “regrettable” choice.

Michael Wertheimer, the director of researcher at the National Security Agency, wrote in a short piece in Notices, a publication of the American Mathematical Society, that even during the standards development process for Dual EC many years ago, members of the working group focused on the algorithm raised concerns that it could have a backdoor in it. The algorithm was developed in part by the NSA and cryptographers were suspect of it from the beginning.

“With hindsight, NSA should have ceased supporting the dual EC_DRBG algorithm immediately after security researchers discovered the potential for a trapdoor. In truth, I can think of no better way to describe our failure to drop support for the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm as anything other than regrettable,” Wertheimer wrote in a piece in Notices’ February issue."

+ - Linux database GUI application develpment question 2

Submitted by msubieta
msubieta (1539615) writes "I have been developing some applications to use in small businesses using Windows and SQL Server. I would like to move on and start doing the same thing in Linux. I have looked at several Frameworks/Databases/Development environments and I really don't know what is the best/simplest/fastest to learn approach. I use VS and C# mostly, although I could easily go back to C++. I found Qt and GTK+ are the most common frameworks, but they seem to lack controls that deal with datasets and stuff (sorry, spoiled by the .net form controls), but I also know that I could use Mono in order to make the jump. I would have no problem on moving to MySQL, as I have done quite a lot of work on that side, and I would like to stick with the traditional client server application, as I find it easier to maintain, and a whole lot more robust when it comes to user interaction (web apps for POS applications don't seem to be the right way to go in my view).

Any suggestions/comments/recommendations?"

Brain off-line, please wait.