Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

+ - Rand Paul moves to block new 'net neutrality' rules->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: U.S. Senator Rand Paul, a Republican presidential hopeful, on Wednesday introduced a resolution to block new regulations on Internet service providers, saying they would "wrap the Internet in red tape."

The "net neutrality" rules, which are slated to take effect in June, are backed by the Obama administration and were passed by the Democratic majority of the Federal Communications Commission in February. AT&T Inc and wireless and cable trade associations are challenging them in court.

Paul's resolution, if adopted, would allow the Senate to fast-track a vote to establish that Congress disapproves of the FCC's new rules and moves to nullify them.

Link to Original Source

+ - Windows XP support deal not renewed by government, leaves PCs open to attack->

Submitted by girlmad
girlmad writes: The government's one-year £5.5m Windows XP support deal with Microsoft has not been extended, sources have told V3, despite thousands of computers across Whitehall still running the ancient software, leaving them wide open to cyber attacks. It's still unclear when all government machines will be migrated to a newer OS.
Link to Original Source

+ - Disney replaces longtime IT staff with H-1B workers->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 writes: Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of eight co-chairs of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a leading group advocating for an increase in the H-1B visa cap. Last Friday, the partnership was a sponsor of an H-1B briefing at the U.S. Capitol for congressional staffers. The briefing was closed to the press. One of the briefing documents obtained after the meeting stated, "H-1B workers complement — instead of displace — U.S. Workers." Last October, however, Disney laid off at least 135 IT staff (though employees say it was hundreds more), many of them longtime workers. Disney then replaced them with H-1B contractors that company said could better "focus on future innovation and new capabilities." The fired workers believe the primary motivation behind Disney's action was cost-cutting. "Some of these folks were literally flown in the day before to take over the exact same job I was doing," one former employee said. Disney officials promised new job opportunities as a result of the restructuring, but the former staff interviewed by Computerworld said they knew of few co-workers who had landed one of the new jobs. Use of visa workers in a layoff is a public policy issue, particularly for Disney. Ten U.S. senators are currently seeking a federal investigation into displacement of IT workers by H-1B-using contractors. Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said Congress should protect American workers by mandating that positions can only be filled by H-1B workers when no qualified American — at any wage — can be found to fill the position."
Link to Original Source

+ - Rand Paul's Visit To Silicon Valley Next Week Is All About 'Disruption'->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: Aiming to appeal to Millennials and libertarian-leaning tech workers, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul will visit San Francisco next week for a campaign swing that includes headlining a discussion and conference on “Disrupting Democracy.”

The May 9 event, formally titled “Disrupting Democracy: A New Generation of Voter Engagement,” is being hosted by Lincoln Labs, a GOP-leaning “liberty-focused thought and leadership group,” and Brigade, a tech firm that develops social tools aimed at boosting civic engagement and is chaired by billionaire Facebook and Napster co-founder Sean Parker.

Paul is scheduled to sit down with Brigade CEO Matt Mahan during the conference.

Link to Original Source

+ - Senate advances 'secret science' bill, sets up possible showdown with President->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Republicans in Congress appear to be headed for a showdown with the White House over controversial “secret science” legislation aimed at changing how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) uses scientific studies. A deeply divided Senate panel yesterday advanced a bill that would require EPA to craft its policies based only on public data available to outside experts. The House of Representatives has already passed a similar measure. But Democrats and science groups have harshly criticized the approach, and the White House has threatened a veto.
Link to Original Source

+ - Constitutional Court in Slovakia bans wholesale online metadata retention->

Submitted by SlovakWakko
SlovakWakko writes: A recent change to the Telecommunications Act in Slovakia ordered Slovak ISPs to store 6 months-worth of various metadata for all forms of on-line communication, including users' location and personal data. Now the Slovak Constitutional Court (a court which decides on the adherence of anything and everything to the Constitution of the Slovak Republic) has decided that this order is not in accordance with the constitution. This decision follows last year's decision by the European Court of Justice which has killed similar EC directive on data retention. (original source in Slovak only)
Link to Original Source

+ - Rand Paul Questions DHS Secretary on Data Privacy and Encryption Backdoors->

Submitted by SonicSpike
SonicSpike writes: U.S. Senator Rand Paul today attended the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to question the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson regarding the scope of Fourth Amendment protections for American citizens.

During the hearing, Sen. Paul noted that the transition to encrypted data is a market-driven response to the U.S. government’s bulk collection of the records of millions of Americans, and reiterated his view that law enforcement should instead seek individualized warrants under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Link to Original Source

+ - Uber Testing Massive Merchant Delivery Service->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: TechCrunch has obtained documents showing that Uber is testing out a delivery service that would allow shoppers to buy something online and have it delivered on the same day. "Sources say that Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are all in talks with the Uber Merchant Delivery program, and one source in particular said that there are over 400 different merchants currently in talks (or already testing) with Uber for same-day delivery. (Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are both used as examples in the training presentation.) ... From what we can gather from the manual, it seems that Uber drivers and couriers are currently taking merchant orders through a different app (and even a separate phone) than the one they use to receive regular UberRUSH orders. Eventually, however, Uber drivers will be able to take both human passengers and Uber Merchant orders at the same time through an intelligent routing system, all from a single driver-side app."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps in Nepal Rescue Effort->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: Amateur radio has stepped in to fill communication gaps in Nepal, which is struggling with power outages and a flaky Internet after a devastating earthquake on Saturday killed over 5,000 people. Though 99 persons have ham licenses in Kathmandu, about eight use high-frequency (HF) radios that can transmit long distances, while another 30 have very high frequency and ultra high frequency sets for local traffic, said Satish Kharel, a lawyer in Kathmandu, who uses the ham call signal 9N1AA. The hobbyist radio operators are working round-the-clock to help people get in touch with relatives, pass on information and alert about developing crises.
Link to Original Source

+ - Music Industry 'Shuts Down' Top Torrent Trackers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: A regional court in Hamburg has ordered a hosting company to shut down three iconic BitTorrent trackers that together coordinated dozens of millions of transfers per day. The order is the result of a complaint from German music group BVMI, but is a bit late since the trackers have been offline for a while.

OpenBitTorrent, PublicBT and Istole.it have long been the three largest BitTorrent trackers on the Internet, coordinating the downloads of 30 million people at any given point in time.

This means that these non-commercial services, powered by the open source Opentracker software, handled a staggering three billion connections per day – each.

We say handled, because the trackers have been offline since mid-January. The trio mysteriously disappeared and as a result of a court ruling in Germany they’re not coming back either. At least not at their German hosting provider.

Link to Original Source

+ - The Power of Backroom Lobbying: How the Music Industry Got a Copyright Extension->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The Canadian government's unexpected budget decision to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings came as a surprise to most copyright watchers, but not the music industry lobby, which was ready with a press release within minutes. How did the industry seemingly know this was coming? Michael Geist reports that records show that the extension is the result of backroom lobbying with monthly meetings between senior government officials and music industry lobbyists paving the way for copyright term extension without public consultation or debate.
Link to Original Source

+ - RealTek SDK Introduces Vulnerability In Some Routers->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: SOHO routers from manufacturers including at least Trendnet and D-Link allow attackers anywhere in the world to execute malicious code on the devices, according to a security advisory issued over the weekend. The remote command-injection vulnerability resides in the "miniigd SOAP service" as implemented by the RealTek SDK. Before someone asks, there is no comprehensive list of manufacturers or models that are affected. Nerds may be able to spot them by using the Metasploit framework to query their router. If the response contains "RealTek/v1.3" or similar, the device is likely vulnerable. For now, the vulnerable routers should be restricted to communicate only with trusted devices. HP's Zero Day Initiative reported the bug confidentially to RealTek in August 2013, but the issue was disclosed 20 months later as no fix has been provided.
Link to Original Source

+ - US Navy Develops Robot Boat Swarm to Overwhelm Enemies

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Jeremy Hsu reports that the US Navy has been testing a large-scale swarm of autonomous boats designed to overwhelm enemies. In the test, large ship that the Navy sometimes calls a high-value unit, HVU, is making its way down the river’s thalweg, escorted by 13 small guard boats. Between them, they carry a variety of payloads, loud speakers and flashing lights, a .50-caliber machine gun and a microwave direct energy weapon or heat ray. Detecting the enemy vessel with radar and infrared sensors, they perform a series of maneuvers to encircle the craft, coming close enough to the boat to engage it and near enough to one another to seal off any potential escape or access to the ship they are guarding. They blast warnings via loudspeaker and flash their lights. The HVU is now free to safely move away. Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder, chief of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), points out that a maneuver that required 40 people had just dropped down to just one. “Think about it as replicating the functions that a human boat pilot would do. We’ve taken that capability and extended it to multiple [unmanned surface vehicles] operating together within that, we’ve designed team behaviors,” says Robert Brizzolara. The timing of the briefing happens to coincide with the 14-year anniversary of the bombing of the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen that killed 17 sailors. It’s an anniversary that Klunder observes with a unique sense of responsibility. “If we had this capability there on that day. We could have saved that ship. I never want to see the USS Cole happen again.”

+ - Why the FCC will probably ignore the public on network neutrality-> 1

Submitted by walterbyrd
walterbyrd writes: The rulemaking process does not function like a popular democracy. In other words, you can't expect that the comment you submit opposing a particular regulation will function like a vote. Rulemaking is more akin to a court proceeding. Changes require systematic, reliable evidence, not emotional expressions . . .

In the wake of more than 3 million comments in the present open Internet proceeding-which at first blush appear overwhelmingly in favor of network neutrality-the current Commission is poised to make history in two ways: its decision on net neutrality, and its acknowledgment of public perspectives. It can continue to shrink the comments of ordinary Americans to a summary count and thank-you for their participation. Or, it can opt for a different path.

Link to Original Source

+ - FCC puts Comcast and Time Warner merge up on hold until after US Elections->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: In a public letter to both the Time Warner and Comcast, FCC said that they are holding the merge up deal that was made in between them. Comcast and Time Warner, together control most of the Internet services in the country. However, the companies said that they are in different regions and are not going to suppress the competition.
Link to Original Source

HEAD CRASH!! FILES LOST!! Details at 11.