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Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen 95

Posted by samzenpus
from the like-wildfire dept.
Lasrick writes After four decades of confining Ebola outbreaks to small areas, experts acknowledged in an October 9 New England Journal of Medicine article that "we were wrong" about the scope of the current situation. At the present transmission rate, the number of Ebola cases in West Africa doubles every two to three weeks. Early diagnosis is the key to controlling the epidemic, but that's far easier said than done: "And there are several complicating factors. For one thing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 60 percent of all Ebola patients remain undiagnosed in their communities." A transmission rate below 1 is necessary to keep the outbreak under control (instead of the current rate of 1.5 to 2), and the authors detail what's in the works to help achieve early detection, which is crucial to reducing the current transmission rate.

Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System? 80

Posted by samzenpus
from the eyes-have-it dept.
kwelch007 writes I run a network for a company that does manufacturing primarily in a clean-room. We have many systems in place that track countless aspects of every step. However, we do not have systems in place to identify the specific user performing the step. I could do this easily, but asking users to input their AD login every time they perform a task is a time-waster (we have "shared" workstations throughout.) My question is, what technologies are people actually using successfully for rapid authentication? I've thought about fingerprint scanners, but they don't work because in the CR we have to wear gloves. So, I'm thinking either face-recognition or retinal scans...but am open to other ideas if they are commercially viable.

Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County 79

Posted by samzenpus
from the our-bad dept.
An anonymous reader writes A malfunction in electronic voting machines in Saline County, Kansas, left over 5,000 votes uncounted. That's roughly one-third of the votes cast. Counting those 5,207 votes didn't change any outcomes in this case however. “That’s a huge difference,” county Chairman Randy Duncan said when notified by the Journal of the error. “That’s scary. That makes me wonder about voting machines. Should we go back to paper ballots?”

Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous After All 77

Posted by samzenpus
from the pulling-back-the-curtain dept.
Taco Cowboy points out a new study that shows it is possible to figure out the IP address of someone who pays for transactions anonymously online using bitcoins. "The Bitcoin system is not managed by a central authority, but relies on a peer-to-peer network on the Internet. Anyone can join the network as a user or provide computing capacity to process the transactions. In the network, the user's identity is hidden behind a cryptographic pseudonym, which can be changed as often as is wanted. Transactions are signed with this pseudonym and broadcast to the public network to verify their authenticity and attribute the Bitcoins to the new owner. In their new study, researchers at the Laboratory of Algorithmics, Cryptology and Security of the University of Luxembourg have shown that Bitcoin does not protect user's IP address and that it can be linked to the user's transactions in real-time. To find this out, a hacker would need only a few computers and about €1500 per month for server and traffic costs. Moreover, the popular anonymization network "Tor" can do little to guarantee Bitcoin user's anonymity, since it can be blocked easily."

+ - Bitcoin is not anonymous after all->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Researchers from the University of Luxembourg have demonstrated that it is possible to figure out the IP address and therefore the identity of individuals who pay for transactions anonymously online using bitcoins

In an open-access paper entitled Deanonymisation of clients in Bitcoin P2P network — — the researchers explain bitcoins do not protect the IP addresses of users, and these can be linked to the user's transactions in real time, even if the client uses different pseudonyms for each transaction

The researchers say a hacker could discover the identity of a bitcoin user by using several computers and spending just under €1,500 (£1,190, $1,871) on such a deanonymisation attack

There are several ways for a hacker to generate a malformed message and pretend it has been sent by a user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network, even if the message has been sent from one of Tor's exit nodes

For example, say there are 1,008 Tor exit nodes. The hacker just needs to establish 1,008 connections and send a few megabytes of data to all connections from the Tor exit nodes to Bitcoin servers

Once the attacker knows what all the servers are and the bitcoin users have been banned from accessing these servers using Tor, they will then have to access the servers the normal way

"It shows that the level of network anonymity provided by Bitcoin is quite low. Several features of the Bitcoin protocol makes the attack possible. In particular, we emphasise that the stable set of only eight entry nodes is too small, as the majority of these nodes' connections can be captured by an attacker"

Every time the user's client makes a connection to an entry node of the bitcoin server, its address (perhaps an IP address associated with a major internet service provider) will be advertised

Once the hacker knows this address, he can trick the bitcoin server into revealing the IP address of the user

"The crucial idea of our attack is to identify each client by an octet of outgoing connections it establishes. This octet of Bitcoin peers [entry nodes] serves as a unique identifier of a client for the whole duration of a user session and will differentiate even those users who share the same NAT IP address," the authors stress

"As soon as the attacker receives the transaction from just two to three entry nodes he can with very high probability link the transaction to a specific client""

Link to Original Source

BlackBerry Will Buy Your iPhone For $550 90

Posted by samzenpus
from the please-buy-our-phone dept.
mpicpp points out that BlackBerry is hoping to get iPhone owners to switch to Passport smartphones by promising up to $550 to trade in their phones. "The promotion, which starts Monday, promises as much as $550 to iPhone owners who trade in their handsets in favor of BlackBerry's Passport. The actual trade-in value depends on the iPhone, with the iPhone 4S worth up to $90 and the iPhone 6 worth up to $400. (The iPhone 6 Plus is not eligible.) BlackBerry then sweetens the deal by kicking in an additional $150 as a topper for each iPhone. The deal will run through February 13, but it's good only in North America. Customers must buy the $599 to $699 unlocked Passport phone through either BlackBerry's website or Amazon. The trade-in amount comes in the form of a Visa prepaid card."

Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency 135

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-solar-cop dept.
wbr1 writes Apparently the pit pattern on a blu-ray disk is great at helping trap photons, rather than reflecting them. Applying this pattern to the glass in a solar panel can boost efficiency by 22%. Researchers at Northwestern tested this system with Jackie Chan discs. From the article: "To increase the efficiency of a solar panel by 22%, the researchers at Northwestern bought a copy of Police Story 3: Supercop on Blu-ray; removed the top plastic layer, exposing the recording medium beneath; cast a mold of the quasi-random pattern; and then used the mold to create a photovoltaic cell with the same pattern....The end result is a solar panel that has a quantum efficiency of around 40% — up about 22% from the non-patterned solar panel."

Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video) 18

Posted by Roblimo
from the it's-not-a-drone-it's-just-a-model-plane dept.
A bit of housing insulation material, a battery, a motor and propellor, a radio receiver and transmitter, and servos to control the motor and a pair of ailerons, and you're ready to fly the Brooklyn Aerodrome way. This isn't a tiny radio-controlled paper airplane, but a big bruiser with a 1:1 power to weight ratio (which means it can climb like a bat out of hell) and enough guts to fly in reasonably windy conditions while carrying a camera -- except we'd better not mention cameras, since Brooklyn Aerodrome creations, whether kits or plans, are obviously intended tohelp you build model airplanes, not drones. Timothy ran into project proponent Breck Baldwin at a maker faire near Atlanta, surrounded by a squadron of junior pilots who may someday become astronauts on the Moon - Mars run -- or at least delivery drone controllers for Amazon. (Alternate Video Link)

DragonFly BSD 4.0 Released 55

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
An anonymous reader writes From the release page: Version 4 of DragonFly brings Haswell graphics support, 3D acceleration, and improved performance in extremely high-traffic networks. DragonFly now supports up to 256 CPUs, Haswell graphics (i915), concurrent pf operation, and a variety of other devices.
The Almighty Buck

Was Microsoft Forced To Pay $136M In Back Taxes In China? 48

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-up dept.
itwbennett writes China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that an unnamed international company was forced to pay 840 million yuan ($136 million) in back taxes, as part of a Chinese government crackdown on tax evasion. The Xinhua article simply referred to it as the "M company," describing it as a top 500 global firm headquartered in the U.S. that in 1995 set up a wholly owned foreign subsidiary in Beijing. The details match Microsoft's own background, and no other company obviously fits the bill. Xinhua added, that despite the company's strengths, its subsidiary in China had not been not making a profit, and posted a loss of over $2 billion during a six-year period.

Comment: What kind of fucking shit is this? (Score 2) 28

by Taco Cowboy (#48465267) Attached to: NSF Commits $16M To Build Cloud-Based and Data-Intensive Supercomputers

If TFA wants to talk about supercomputer then it should stick to supercomputers. What is the point of sticking in the following:

... climate change skeptic Ted Cruz is rumored to be in line to chair a Senate committee that oversees NASA and the NSF

1, TFA has failed to substantiate its claim that Ted Cruz is a climate change skeptic
2. Even if Ted Cruz is a climate change skeptic it still has NOTHING to do with the funding of supercomputers
3. Supercomputer can be used for many things, not only for climate pattern modelling
4. TFA also failed to prove that Ted Cruz has refused to fund the purchase of supercomputer
5. Even if Ted Cruz is such a villian, that the guy would end up destroying NSF and whatnots, why didn't the American government, led by the Obama administration and its Democratic party congress critins, before Ted Cruz arrives at the scene, fund the purchase of supercomputers?
Is TFA going to be an article about the lack of supercomputer or is TFA going to be a political character assassination propaganda against Ted Cruz?
I have no relationship whatsoever with Ted Cruz. I just can't stand this kind of below-the-belt sneak attack disguising as a Slashdot article

Comment: Branding disasters (Score 1) 63

by Taco Cowboy (#48464829) Attached to: The People Who Are Branding Vulnerabilities

Nowadays they do assign names to typhoons / hurricanes, and TFA gives me an idea ... why stop at branding vulnerabilities when we can branding disasters?

All we need to do is to supply a meme, a logo, a theme song, ... and we can even throw in a new aerobic dance step as a bonus!

Anyone thinks such a venture might sell? How about we crowdsource our funding @

Comment: A clear pattern (Score 1) 71

by Taco Cowboy (#48453627) Attached to: DHS Set To Destroy "Einstein" Surveillance Records

First when it was found out that IRS was illegal harassing citizen groups in the USA, and an investigation was launch, IRS responded by telling the world that all the computers used by the people involved that case were mysteriously and co-incidently damaged --- so no trace of guilt could be found

Then it came the case of the records of H1B be destroyed, without letting the public to check it

Now this

I have been in America since the 1970's, and when I first landed at America, the Watergate thing was still a very hot topic

No matter how tricky that Tricky Dicky was, he paled in comparison to the wholesale destruction of evidence the Obama administration is doing

When I first arrived in America, I was a refugee from China

Now, I am an American citizen

Back when I was a refugee, I felt so awed by the American system - that even the President can be thrown out of office if he did rotten things

But now, as an American citizen, I feel rotten. I feel rotten because as an American citizen I can *DO NOTHING* about the illegal activitiess my own government is involved in

I feel so powerless, I feel so ashame

I know that, the founding fathers of my adopted country, the United States of America, told me, in the Declaration of Independence, that it is my duty, and the duty of ALL AMERICANS, to overthrow the government if the government turns rogue

The Obama administration is rogue, but as an American citizen, I have failed to carry out my duty, as has been instructed by the founding fathers

I am ashamed, man. Very very much ashamed, to have failed to live up to the expectation of the founding fathers, to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America !

Comment: Why giving ? (Score 2) 91

by Taco Cowboy (#48443283) Attached to: How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

I do not understand why the need to give foreign aid in the first place, I really don't

I am from China, and when I was in China, China was hit by the double whammy from Chairman Mao - in the form of great famine and cultural upheaval

Tens of millions of people perished

Despite of the suffering, China didn't receive any fucking foreign aid from nobody --- and at the end of it, China still survive, and the population of China is still over one Billion

Why then the West wants to give out money to help those "poor" countries? I mean, what the West is thinking?

They think without the "foreign aid" those poor countries will die?

For thousands of years the people of those "poor countries" were there before the "West" is known as the "West ... and they never got any "Western aid" at all, and still, they survived, right?

Don't care if it's brown skin, white skin, dark skin, yellow skin or whatever shade of skin those people are, with or without foreign aid they will survive

With or without the "disruptive method", those "foreign aid" is a waste of money anyway

Comment: Thieves (Score 1) 90

by Taco Cowboy (#48443117) Attached to: Samsung Seeking To Block Nvidia Chips From US Market

Hey, let's be frank

In technology almost everyone is a thief

Not only in the corporate settings, even in the academia setting thievery thrives --- you do not even need to look far to read stories of professors stealing and patenting students' ideas from himself / herself

And I am speaking from experience ... I had (at least) one idea stolen by my professor(s) and I couldn't do shit about it --- basically I had the choice of litigation (which would linger for ages) against my professor(s) and the university (which means I would never graduate) ...
... or I moved on ...
... by not disclosing any more ideas to anyone until I got my chance to try them out myself and patent them if they turn out to be useful

Between infinite and short there is a big difference. -- G.H. Gonnet