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


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Analysis of 250,000 Hacker Conversations 111

Orome1 writes "Imperva released a report (PDF) analyzing the content and activities of an online hacker forum with nearly 220,000 registered members, although many are dormant. The forum is used by hackers for training, communications, collaboration, recruitment, commerce and even social interaction. Commercially, this forum serves as a marketplace for selling of stolen data and attack software. The chat rooms are filled with technical subjects ranging from advice on attack planning to solicitations for help with specific campaigns."

Submission + - Is Windows Really Getting Safer?->

suraj.sun writes: Think Windows is insecure? You're wrong, says security firm Kaspersky. Conventional wisdom has it that Windows and products from Microsoft are extremely unsafe, easy targets for hackers. That conventional wisdom is wrong, according to security firm Kaspersky Lab's recent quarterly malware report, which found not a single Microsoft-related threat in the top ten.

The Kapersky Lab quarterly report has this to say about Microsoft products:

        For the very first time in its history, the top 10 rating of vulnerabilities includes products from just two companies: Adobe and Oracle (Java), with seven of those 10 vulnerabilities being found in Adobe Flash Player alone. Microsoft products have disappeared from this ranking due to improvements in the automatic Windows update mechanism and the growing proportion of users who have Windows 7 installed on their PCs.

ComputerWorld: http://blogs.computerworld.com/18791/think_windows_is_insecure_youre_wrong_says_security_firm_kapersky

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Tinfoil Hats Amplify Signals->

Sebastopol writes: Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.
Link to Original Source

'Giant' Neuron Regulates 50,000 Other Neurons 81

Scottingham sends this quote from PhysOrg: "A single interneuron controls activity adaptively in 50,000 neurons, enabling consistently sparse codes for odors (abstract). The brain is a coding machine: it translates physical inputs from the world into visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile perceptions via the mysterious language of its nerve cells and the networks which they form. Neural codes could in principle take many forms, but in regions forming bottlenecks for information flow (e.g., the optic nerve) or in areas important for memory, sparse codes are highly desirable. ... This single giant interneuron tracks in real time the activity of several tens of thousands of neurons in an olfactory centre and feeds inhibition back onto all of them, so as to maintain their collective output within an appropriately sparse regime. In this way, representation sparseness remains steady as input intensity or complexity varies."

Last Typewriter Factory in the World Shuts Its Doors Screenshot-sm 249

SEWilco pointed out that the last typewriter factory has shut its doors. Indian typewriter manufacturer Godrej and Boyce stopped production today after 60 years. The company's general manager, Milind Dukle, says, "We are not getting many orders now. From the early 2000s onwards, computers started dominating. All the manufacturers of office typewriters stopped production, except us."

Are 625 Pixels Enough To Identify Sex? 143

mikejuk writes "A Spanish research team have patented a video camera and algorithm that can tell the difference between males and females based on just a 25x25 pixel image. This means that there is enough information in such low resolution images to do the job! They also demonstrate that an old AI method, linear discriminant analysis, is as good and sometimes better than more trendy methods such as Support Vector Machines..."

Comment Re:What does that even mean? (Score 1) 506

Interestingly, a one dimensional space with no beginning or end requires two dimensions to represent it; the circumference of a circle is a one dimensional space that has no beginning or end. Similarly, a two dimensional space with no beginning or end can be represented as the surface of a three dimensional sphere.

I think, then, it is quite difficult for us as mostly 3 dimensional thinkers to conceptualize a space that has 4 dimensions. (Not the 4th dimension of time, but a 4th dimension of space.) If we could conceptualize that type of area, that's how the universe is. If you go long enough in any direction, you'll end up coming around on the other side. Just like you would on a sphere, but you can do that in any direction.

Free Radicals May Not Be Cause of Aging 371

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at McGill University in Montreal have uncovered strong new evidence that that wildly-accepted mitochondrial free radical theory of aging (MFRTA) is wrong. MFRTA suggests that free radicals cause oxidative damage, which in turn leads to the aging process. This new evidence shows that high levels of Reactive Oxidative species are rather a biological signal used to combat aging then the process itself. This goes against claims of major health benefits from consuming foods and particularly supplements that contain antioxidants."

First Measurement of Magnetic Field In Earth's Core 34

An anonymous reader writes "A University of California, Berkeley, geophysicist has made the first-ever measurement of the strength of the magnetic field inside Earth's core, 1,800 miles underground. The magnetic field strength is 25 Gauss, or 50 times stronger than the magnetic field at the surface that makes compass needles align north-south. Though this number is in the middle of the range geophysicists predict, it puts constraints on the identity of the heat sources in the core that keep the internal dynamo running to maintain this magnetic field."

Comment Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 1352

There's a fundamental problem with your assumptions. You started off thinking that healthcare should have a cost at all. If it's a "basic human right" then the answer is that the government should provide it, gratis.

I was/am against the new healthcare crap because its an ineffective bandaid on a terribly broken system. It does basically nothing to address issues with the healthcare system, and instead just creates ways to give care to people who can't afford it, by making others pay.

I don't claim to have answers for how to fix things, but what we've got isn't near fixed. For starters, why don't we require licensed physicians to "donate" a percentage (hopefully less than 50%) of their billable hours to people who can't afford to pay them. Or, why not get rid of insurance companies all together. Just go down to a single plan for everyone, and anyone who wants something else has to pay out of pocket. You may think "oh god who can afford that" but the problem is the prices for the shit are so outrageous. Maybe congress should take a look at the side of malpractice premiums and figure out how to lower those, so that everyone's insurance can be lower. Maybe if we make doctors "donate" some of their hours, we can exclude them from civil liability for anything that goes wrong during those hours.

There are about a million things that could be done to *start* to correct the problems with the *system*. Instead, they decided just pour more money into it. That doesn't sound right to me.

NASA Delays Discovery's Final Launch To February 62

Velcroman1 writes "NASA has postponed the launch of space shuttle Discovery's final mission to no earlier than early February — the latest in a long string of delays that have kept the spacecraft grounded for more than a month. Discovery is now slated to launch no earlier than Feb. 3, with the delay allowing NASA engineers more time to analyze why small cracks developed in the shuttle's huge external fuel tank. The cracks have since been repaired, but NASA wants to make sure similar issues don't pose a future concern."

Kentucky Announces Creationism Theme Park Screenshot-sm 648

riverat1 writes "On December first, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced that a creationism theme park is expected to open in 2014. Park developers are seeking state tourism development incentives and could receive up to $37.5 million over a 10-year period. Gov. Steve Beshear said he does not believe the incentives would violate the principle of church-state separation because the 14-year-old tax incentives law wasn’t approved for the purpose of benefiting the Ark Encounter. The park will have a 500 foot replica of the Ark with live animals on it and a Tower of Babel explaining how races and languages developed. The park will be turned over to Answers in Genesis after it is built. They are a non-profit organization which may allow them to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion."

Your good nature will bring you unbounded happiness.