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Submission The physics behind the Volkswagen diesel scandal ->

Guinnessy writes: Volkswagen recently admitted that it equipped diesel cars with "defeat devices" that belch 40 times the EPA standard on nitrogen oxides. Yet despite the mass of coverage, details on exactly how the devices cheated on emissions tests, and why diesels expel such gases have been sketchy. Physics Today's Charles Day takes a look ( ) at how diesel engines work, and why its clear its not just a lone software engineer who came up with the cheat. " is impotent without hardware. To recognize when a car was being tested and not driven, the defeat device required data from a range of sensors—sensors that a noncheating car might not need.... Whereas it's conceivable that a single software engineer, directed by a single manager, could have secretly written and uploaded the code that ran the defeat device, installing its associated hardware would require a larger and more diverse team of conspirators," he says.
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Submission Ask Slashdot: Is the gap between data access speeds widening or narrowing?

DidgetMaster writes: Everyone knows that CPU registers are much faster than level1, level2, and level3 caches. Likewise, those caches are much faster than RAM; and RAM in turn is much faster than disk (even SSD). But the past 30 years have seen tremendous improvements in data access speeds at all these levels. RAM today is much, much faster than RAM 10, 20, or 30 years ago. Disk accesses are also tremendously faster than previously as steady improvements in hard drive technology and the even more impressive gains in flash memory have occurred. Is the "gap" between the fastest RAM and the fastest disks bigger or smaller now than the gap was 10 or 20 years ago? Are the gaps between all the various levels getting bigger or smaller? Anyone know of a definitive source that tracks these gaps over time?

Submission Office 2016 proving unstable with Apple's El Capitan ->

An anonymous reader writes: Users of Microsoft Office on the Mac are reporting widespread instabilities and conflicts after upgrading to the latest version of the Apple desktop operating system, El Capitan. The first indications that El Capitan and Office 2016 were not working well together came in a now epic thread at Microsoft Community. Many users have surmised that new restrictions in file permissions in El Capitan caused the problems initially, though nearly all agree that Office's Outlook email client is the critical point of failure in the current round of application crashes and loss of functionality.
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Comment They're required to (Score 1) 4

This one has a simple answer: EU privacy laws came into effect a couple years ago mandating that end users be informed if any cookies are stored on their computer, regardless of how trivial or harmless the cookie may be. The site owners aren't trying to accomplish anything aside from avoiding huge fines if they don't comply.

Submission First of 2 Australian NBN Satellites launched Successfully->

aduxorth writes: Sky Muster, the first of the two satellites that will comprise Australia's NBN's Long-Term Satellite Service, has been successfully launched from Guiana Space Centre in South America. The two geostationary satellites will offer a total capacity of 135 gigabits per second, with 25/5Mbps wholesale speeds available to end users. The second satellite is expected to launch next year. Testing of this satellite will start soon and will continue until services are launched early next year.
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Submission Linux XOR DDoS botnet is capable of bombarding victims with 179 Gbps data->

hypnosec writes: Security experts have revealed that a Linux botnet using XOR DDoS malware has grown so powerful that it can virtually bring any victim’s network to a grinding halt by bombarding them with up to 179 Gbps data. Believed to be of Asian origin, the botnet is known to target as many as 20 victims per day 90 per cent of which are believed to be companies located in Asia. Security response team from Akamai Technologies have observed several such attacks recently and most of them are being targeted at online gaming companies and the education sector. Unlike typical vulnerability exploiting mechanism, this botnet is spreading by targeting Linux devices of all flavours – even embedded – by guessing their SSH root passwords employing brute force mechanism. Researchers have found that once the root password is guessed, a bash script is run on the target device which downloads the Trojan and other necessary files. The botnet is also said to be using rootkit techniques to evade detection.
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Submission Advance in super/ultra capacitor tech: high voltage and high capacity->

fyngyrz writes: Ultracaps offer significantly faster charge and discharge rates as well as considerably longer life than batteries. Where they have uniformly fallen short is in the amount of energy they can store as compared to a battery, and WRT the engineering backflips required to get higher voltages (which is the key to higher energy storage because the energy stored in a cap scales with the square of the cap's voltage, whereas doubling the cap's actual capacitance only doubles the energy, or in other words, the energy increase is linear.) This new development addresses these shortcomings all at once: considerably higher voltage, smaller size, higher capacitance, and to top it off, utilizes less corrosive internals. The best news of all: This new technology looks to be easy, even trivial, to manufacture, and uses inexpensive materials — and that is something neither batteries or previous types of ultracaps have been able to claim. After the debacle of EEStor's claims and failure to meet them for so long, and the somewhat related very slow advance of other ultracap technology, it's difficult not to be cynical. But if you read TFA (yes, I know, but perhaps you'll do it anyway) you may decide some optimism might actually be called for.
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Submission Uber raided by Dutch authorities, seen as "criminal organization"->

An anonymous reader writes: Uber offices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands have been raided by Dutch authorities, as reported by several local media sources (here in dutch or google-translated). This follows intimidatory deterrence practices in that country, with Uber drivers being fined in the past months, and fresh allegations that the company would act as a "criminal organization" by offering a platform for taxi rides without license (read: without the authorities earning money from the practice). Time to leave the Netherlands and move your tech-company European offices elsewhere?
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Submission Talking science and God with the pope's new chief astronomer->

sciencehabit writes: On 18 September, Pope Francis appointed Jesuit brother Guy Consolmagno as the new director of the Vatican Observatory, which employs a dozen astronomers to study asteroids, meteorites, extrasolar planets, stellar evolution, and cosmology. The observatory is based at the pope's summer residence south of Rome and operates a 1.8-meter telescope in Arizona, where the skies are clearer. Science Magazine chatted with Consolmagno about a variety of topics, including whether God gets in the way of doing good astronomy.
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Submission Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Privacy Policies To Get Positive PR->

jfruh writes: Apple hasn't changed its privacy policy in more than a year — but that didn't stop the company from putting up a glossy website explaining it in layman's terms. Microsoft too has been touting its respect for its users's privacy. This doesn't represent any high-minded altruism on those companies' parts, of course; it's part of their battle against Google, their archrival that offers almost all of its services for free and makes its money mining user data.
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Submission TV Ads Are About to Get Personal With New Targeting Tools-> 1

schwit1 writes: Surgical marketing messages are taken for granted on the Internet. Yet, they are just now finding their way onto television, where the audience is big though harder to target. As brands shift more of their spending to the Web where ads are more precise, the TV industry is pushing back.

Using data from cable set-top boxes that track TV viewing, credit cards and other sources, media companies including Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, Time Warner Inc.'s Turner and Viacom Inc. are trying to compete with Web giants like Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. and help marketers target their messages to the right audience.

Where can I get adblock for my FIOS?

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Submission Carly Fiorina: I Supplied HP Servers for NSA Snooping

Motherfucking Shit writes: According to an article at Motherboard, shortly after 9/11, NSA director Michael Hayden requested extra computing power and Carly Fiorina, then CEO of HP, responded by re-routing truckloads of servers to the agency. Fiorina acknowledged providing the servers to the NSA during an interview with Michael Isikoff in which she defended warrantless surveillance (as well as waterboarding) and framed her collaboration with the NSA in patriotic terms. Fiorina’s compliance with Hayden’s request for HP servers is but one episode in a long-running and close relationship between the GOP presidential hopeful and US intelligence agencies.

Submission iOS 9 "Wi-Fi Assist" Could Lead To Huge Wireless Bills

Dave Knott writes: One of the new features introduced in iOS9 is "Wi-Fi Assist". This enable your phone to automatically switch from wi-fi to a cellular connection when the wi-fi signal is poor. That's helpful if you're in the middle of watching a video or some other task on the internet that you don't want interrupted by spotty wi-fi service. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi Assist is enabled on by default, which means that users may exceed their data cap without knowing it because their phone is silently switching their data connection from wi-fi to cellular.

Submission What will be hottest space research in next ten years?->

coondoggie writes: With NASA spotting water flows on Mars this week, excitement abounds as to what might be the next big thing for astrobiologsts and space scientists in general. Interestingly a congressional hearing entitled “Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth in the Next Decade” was on tap this week to take a look at what some key issues are as NASA and other space organization look toward the future.
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"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev