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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).


Comment: Five reasons to blame Apple (Score 3, Informative) 311

by Sara Chan (#47820187) Attached to: Apple Denies Systems Breach In Photo Leak
There is a good article "Five reasons to blame Apple in nude celebrity photo leak", in The Hamilton Spectator. Here are the key points (read the article for elaborations).

1. The vulnerability is Security 101 stuff (even a good password, like “D0nM@tt1ngly!”, was still vulnerable).
2. The vulnerability was publicly known since May.
3. Apple defaults users into the cloud (and Apple makes it very hard to not store in the cloud).
4. Apple does not encourage two-factor authentication (it discourages this).
5. Two-factor authentication wouldn't have worked anyway (it is not actually enforced on iCloud).

+ - NSA was the sole editor of ISO crypto-PRNG standard

Submitted by Sara Chan
Sara Chan (138144) writes "A Congressman, Alan Grayson, has sent a letter to the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper. The letter asks several questions, in particular, this one: "How did the NSA become the sole editor of the ISO 18031 specification?" ISO 18031 specifies a model for a pseudorandom number generator that is suitable for cryptography. Thus, according to the letter, the NSA was the sole editor of an ISO cryptographic standard. The letter will probably not do much, though, given Clapper's prior perjury."

+ - NASA Confirms New EM Thruster Violates Laws Of Conservation

Submitted by Crudely_Indecent
Crudely_Indecent (739699) writes "Mentioned here in a previous story ( ), the EM thruster that generates thrust using no fuel, only electricity has been tested by NASA and confirmed to work!

Is this the Star Trek future tech we've been waiting for?

The NASA report titled "Anomalous Thrust Production from an RF Test Device Measured on a Low-Thrust Torsion Pendulum" was published 3 days ago and can be found here: From the abstract:

This paper describes the eight-day August 2013 test campaign designed to investigate and demonstrate viability of using classical magnetoplasmadynamics to obtain a propulsive momentum transfer via the quantum vacuum virtual plasma.


Comment: Re:New scientist story leaves out a lot (Score 1) 127

by Sara Chan (#47293219) Attached to: Big Bang Breakthrough Team Back-Pedals On Major Result

BICEP2 were a bunch of young upstarts

You got that right. And the tender egos of the Planck team got hurt by the "young upstarts" outdoing them. Awww, how sad.

Fact is, the BICEP2 team got the result and published in a leading journal. The team hardly backtracked at all. For more on this, see the blog post by Lubos Motl: "BICEP2 gets published in PRL".

It is pathetic how established scientists try to protect their egos from "young upstarts".

+ - Intel's Knights Landing - a 72 core, 3 teraflop beast->

Submitted by asliarun
asliarun (636603) writes "David Kanter of Realworldtech recently posted his take on Intel's upcoming Knights Landing chip. The technical specs are startling massive and shows Intel's new found focus on throughput processing (and possibly graphics). 72 Silvermont cores with beefy FP and vector units, mesh fabric with tile based architecture, DDR4 support with a 384bit memory controller, QPI connectivity instead of PCIe, and 16GB on-package eDRAM (yes, 16GB!). All this should ensure throughput of 3 teraflops/s double precision. Many of the architectural elements would also be the same as Intel's future CPU chips — so this is also a peek into Intel's vision of the future. Will Intel use this as a platform to compete with nVidia and AMD/ATI graphics? Or will this be another Larrabee? Or just an exotic HPC product like Knights Corner?"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Americans surrendered in Vietnam (Score 1) 380

by Sara Chan (#45801993) Attached to: <em>Battlefield 4</em> Banned In China

Their civilian resistance effort also went down in legend

Indeed, “legend” is the correct term. Many of the most active members of the French Resistance were Jewish, who therefore had little to lose. Their names were changed from obviously-Jewish ones to more French ones, when the history was later written.


Bill Gates Promotes Vaccine Projects, Swipes At Google 481

Posted by timothy
from the imagine-needles-vs-blimps-as-a-video-game dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "In a new interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, Bill Gates discussed his Foundation's work to eradicate polio and malaria, while suggesting that vaccine programs and similar initiatives to fight disease and poverty will ultimately do much more for the world than technology projects devoted to connecting everybody to the Internet. While Gates professes his belief in the so-called digital revolution, he doesn't think projects such as Google's Internet blimps (designed to transmit WiFi signals over hundreds of miles, bringing Internet to underserved areas in the process) will do the third world nearly as much as good as basic healthcare. "When you're dying of malaria, I suppose you'll look up and see that [Internet] balloon, and I'm not sure how it'll help you," he said. "When a kid gets diarrhea, no, there's no website that relieves that." Gates then sharpened his attack on the search-engine giant: "Google started out saying they were going to do a broad set of things. They hired Larry Brilliant, and they got fantastic publicity. And then they shut it all down." Google focusing on its core mission is fine, he added, "but the actors who just do their core thing are not going to uplift the poor." The Microsoft co-founder also has no intention of following Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and other tech entrepreneurs into the realm of space exploration. "I guess it's fun, because you shoot rockets up in the air," he said. "But it's not an area that I'll be putting money into.""

Comment: Re:Hansen is delusional (Score 1) 605

by Sara Chan (#40909933) Attached to: NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming
Moderators, I am the author of the above comment that has been moderated "Troll"; the moderation was apparently done on the basis of replying comments. I ask you to check what my comment said, before moderating it as troll.

Here is what the Slashdot summary said.

the paper says, that scientists can claim with near certainty that events like the Texas heat wave last year, the Russian heat wave of 2010 and the European heat wave of 2003 would not have happened without the planetary warming caused by the human release of greenhouse gases.

It ought to be clear from this that the Russian heat wave, in particular, is being blamed on putative global warming. Now, check the three links in my comment to confirm that they do indeed say exactly what my comment claims. The second link requires a password or subscription; here is an alternative link, from the American Geophysical Union (which publishes the journal):
You can confirm that the quote supplied in my comment is taken from that link.

The real trolls are the commenters who claimed that I was misquoting or misrepresenting. My comment is not a troll, and it should be moderated fairly.

I think that it says something about the current global warming debate that an accurate critical comment such as mine is moderated troll while blatantly false criticisms of my comment get moderated up to 5.

Comment: Hansen is delusional (Score 0, Troll) 605

by Sara Chan (#40903953) Attached to: NASA Scientist: Heat Waves Really Are From Global Warming
Yet more scaremongering from the statistically-incompetent Jim Hansen. Regarding the heat wave in Russia, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued a press release entitled "Natural Variability Main Culprit of Deadly Russian Heat Wave That Killed Thousands"; the press release is based on a paper that was published in Geophysical Research Letters. Another paper, published in the same journal, concluded that "the heat wave falls within the realm of natural variability ... [and] appears not to be the product of long-term climate changes". Also, some researchers in Germany analyzed the data and published a paper, entitled "Large scale flow and the long-lasting blocking high over Russia", which says that the heat wave "appears as a result of natural atmospheric variability".

In short, the claim about Russia is false. The claim about the European summer of 2003 is also debunked. (I am not familiar with Texas.) And why does Hansen not mention extreme cold recently in Alaska?—is that also due to global warming? Bad weather has always existed.

Put your best foot forward. Or just call in and say you're sick.