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Businesses

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Your First "Real" Job? 583 583

itwbennett writes: ITworld's Josh Fruhlinger asked seasoned (and some not-so-seasoned) tech professionals what they wished they knew back when they were newly minted graduates entering the workforce. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the best advice has more to do with soft skills than with tech skills. To wit: 'When [managers] say they are suggesting you do something, it's not really a suggestion — it is an order disguised as a suggestion. Plain-speaking is a lost art at big companies and corporate double talk is the name of the game.' What's your best piece of advice for the newest among you?
Crime

Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas 327 327

Ars Technica reports that a Las Vegas teenager is in custody for multiple instances of swatting: Brandon Wilson, who goes by the online handle "Famed God," was arrested Thursday in Nevada and faces an extradition hearing to determine whether he should be sent to face hacking and other charges. Illinois prosecutors said there was evidence on his computers about the July 10 swatting incident, in which he allegedly reported a murder to Naperville's emergency 911 line. The SWAT team responded, but the call was a hoax. The Chicago-Sun Times said that, in addition to the Naperville incident, the suspect's computers held evidence "of similar incidents across the country."
Biotech

Telomere-Lengthening Procedure Turns Clock Back Years In Human Cells 183 183

Zothecula writes Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new procedure to increase the length of human telomeres. This increases the number of times cells are able to divide, essentially making the cells many years younger. This not only has useful applications for laboratory work, but may point the way to treating various age-related disorders – or even muscular dystrophy.
United States

What's Wrong With the Manhattan Project National Park 160 160

Lasrick writes Dawn Stover describes the radioactive dirt behind the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, from its inclusion in the National Defense Authorization Act (the park legislation wouldn't pass otherwise) and lack of funding for national parks in general to the lack of funding for cleanup at Superfund nuclear sites like Hanford. And then there is how the Parks Service is presenting exhibits: at least some of them are described in the past tense, as if nuclear weapons were a thing of the past. Here's the description of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota: "Nuclear war loomed as an apocalyptic shadow that could possibly have brought human history to an end." Can the National Park Service be ignorant of the fact that missiles remain on station, nuclear weapons are still being stockpiled, and saber rattling did not end with the fall of the Berlin Wall?"
Data Storage

Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025 215 215

Lucas123 writes An industry consortium made up by leading hard disk drive manufacturers shows they expect the areal density of platters to reach 10 terabits per square inch by 2025, which is more than 10 times what it is today. At that density, hard disk drives could conceivably hold up to 100TB of data. Key to achieving greater bit density is Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) and Bit Patterned Media Recording (BPMR). While both HAMR and BPMR will increase density, the combination of both technologies in 2021 will drive it to the 10Tbpsi level, according to the Advanced Storage Technology Consortium (ASTC).
Japan

Japanese Maglev Train Hits 500kph 419 419

An anonymous reader writes Japan has now put 100 passengers on a Maglev train doing over 500kph. That's well over twice as fast as the fastest U.S. train can manage, and that only manages 240kph on small sections of its route. The Japanese Shinkansen is now running over 7 times times as fast as the average U.S. express passenger train. 500kph is moving towards the average speed of an airliner. Add the convenience of no boarding issues, and city-centre to city-centre travel, and the case for trains as mass-transport begins to look stronger.
Bitcoin

Entrepreneur Injects Bitcoin Wallets Into Hands 77 77

wiredmikey writes A Dutch entrepreneur has had two microchips containing Bitcoin injected into his hands to help him make contactless payments. The chips, enclosed in a 2mm by 12mm capsule of "biocompatible" glass, were injected using a special syringe and can communicate with devices such as Android smartphones or tablets via NFC. "What's stored on the microchips should be seen as a savings account rather than a current account," Martijn Wismeijer, co-founder of MrBitcoin said. "The payment device remains the smartphone, but you transfer funds from the chips." The chips are available on the Internet, sold with a syringe for $99, but Wismeijer suggested individuals should find a specialist to handle the injection to avoid infections.
Security

Website Peeps Into 73,000 Unsecured Security Cameras Via Default Passwords 321 321

colinneagle writes: After coming across a Russian website that streams video from unsecured video cameras that employ default usernames and passwords (the site claims it's doing it to raise awareness of privacy risks), a blogger used the information available to try to contact the people who were unwittingly streamed on the site. It didn't go well. The owner of a pizza restaurant, for example, cursed her out over the phone and accused her of "hacking" the cameras herself. And whoever (finally) answered the phone at a military building whose cameras were streaming on the site told her to "call the Pentagon."

The most common location of the cameras was the U.S., but many others were accessed from South Korea, China, Mexico, the UK, Italy, and France, among others. Some are from businesses, and some are from personal residences. Particularly alarming was the number of camera feeds of sleeping babies, which people often set up to protect them, but, being unaware of the risks, don't change the username or password from the default options that came with the cameras.

It's not the first time this kind of issue has come to light. In September 2013, the FTC cracked down on TRENDnet after its unsecured cameras were found to be accessible online. But the Russian site accesses cameras from several manufacturers, raising some new questions — why are strong passwords not required for these cameras? And, once this becomes mandatory, what can be done about the millions of unsecured cameras that remain live in peoples' homes?
Education

Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science 283 283

HughPickens.com writes: Carolyn Johnson reports in the Boston Globe that in recent years, the position of postdoctoral researcher has become less a stepping stone and more of a holding tank. Postdocs are caught up in an all-but-invisible crisis, mired in an underclass as federal funding for research has leveled off, leaving the supply of well-trained scientists outstripping demand. "It's sunk in that it's by no means guaranteed — for anyone, really — that an academic position is possible," says Gary McDowell, a 29-year old biologist doing his second postdoc. "There's this huge labor force here to do the bench work, the grunt work of science. But then there's nowhere for them to go; this massive pool of postdocs that accumulates and keeps growing." The problem is that any researcher running a lab today is training far more people than there will ever be labs to run. Often these supremely well-educated trainees are simply cheap laborers, not learning skills for the careers where they are more likely to find jobs. This wasn't such an issue decades ago, but universities have expanded the number of PhD students they train from about 30,000 biomedical graduate students in 1979 to 56,800 in 2009, flooding the system with trainees and drawing out the training period.

Possible solutions span a wide gamut, from halving the number of postdocs over time, to creating a new tier of staff scientists that would be better paid. One thing people seem to agree on is that simply adding more money to the pot will not by itself solve the oversupply. Facing these stark statistics, postdocs are taking matters into their own hands, recently organizing a Future of Research conference in Boston that they hoped would give voice to their frustrations and hopes and help shape change. They ask, "How can we, as the next generation, run the system?"
Iphone

Consumer Reports: New iPhones Not As Bendy As Believed 304 304

An anonymous reader writes: Over the past several days, we've been hearing reports about some amount of users noticing that their brand new iPhone 6 Plus is bending in their pockets. The pictures and videos shown so far have kicked off an investigation, and Consumer Reports has done one of the more scientific tests so far. They found that the iPhone 6 Plus takes 90 pounds of pressure before it permanently deforms. The normal iPhone 6 took even less: 70 lbs. They tested other phones as well: HTC One (M8): 70 lbs, LG G3: 130 lbs, iPhone 5: 130 lbs, Samsung Galaxy Note 3: 150 lbs. The Verge also did a report on how Apple torture-tests its devices before shipping them. Apple's standard is about 55 lbs of pressure, though it does so thousands of times before looking for bends. One analysis suggests that Apple's testing procedure only puts pressure on the middle of the phone, which doesn't sufficiently evaluate the weakened area where holes have been created for volume buttons. Consumer Reports' test presses on the middle of the device as well.
Science

New Process Promises Ammonia From Air, Water, and Sunlight 117 117

The synthesis of ammonia is one of the globe's most significant industrial applications of chemistry. PhysOrg reports the publication in the August issue of Science (sadly, article is paywalled) the description of a low-energy process to syntheize ammonia for fertilizer using just air, water, and sunlight, by zapping with electricity water bubbling through a matrix of iron oxide, and sodium and potassium hyroxide. Electricity isn't free, though — "Low energy" in this case means two-thirds the energy cost of the long-in-use Haber-Bosch process. Researcher Stuart Licht is getting some of the energy to run this reaction from a high-efficiency solar cell he's created, which creates hydrogen as a byproduct. Along with the elimination of the need to produce hydrogen from natural gas, the overall emissions are reduced quite significantly. The whole process also takes place at milder conditions, not requiring 450C and 200 times atmospheric pressure as the Haber-Bosch process does. ... But even with Licht's method, [University of Bristol electrochemistry professor David] Fermin points out that we are far away from being able to replicate nature's efficiency at converting nitrogen from the air to useful chemicals, which is done by nitrogen-fixing bacteria. "What is truly remarkable is that nature does it incredibly efficiently at low-temperature," Fermin added. And yet, if something more efficient can replace the Haber-Bosch process, it would lower the energy input of the production of one of the worlds most important chemicals and lead to a notable reduction in global CO2 emissions.

Comment: Re:PCI-DSS (Score 2) 217 217

Remember that PCI-DSS is a fairly new standard. A quick search got me a VISA document that listed january 1, 2008 as the date for phasing out old payment systems that didn't manage card numbers securely.

The plain text credit card number was apparently used in a transaction from 2005. Still a bad idea to use a plain text card number. But ompanies doing stupid stuff like that.is kind of the reason why PCI-DSS became mandatory in the first place.

Comment: Re:Crazy (Score 1) 778 778

My issue is that you dont want a free market

The very core of free market theory is consensual trade. Without mutual consent you can't have a free market. And that is why the low end labor market is in no way a free market. The worker is not consenting to work, he is figuratively forced at gunpoint.

So the only negative impact the minimum wage has on the free market is imaginary as there wasn't a free market to begin with. Well, unless you had some kind of basic income to remove the figurative gun from the picture.

Comment: Re:Free market economy (Score 1) 529 529

Anyone calling the current economy a free market is spouting bullshit. The core of free market theory is consent between seller (employee) and consumer (employer). But you can't have proper consent when the seller is under duress.

Unions are kind of a solution, but that is essentially fighting duress with duress which is a negative cold war strategy. Not what I would call a free market.

The better solution in my opinion is an unconditional basic income, that directly tries to solve the problem of sellers being under duress to begin with. All without having the government doing any extra regulations of the market. In fact, with a proper basic income you can even remove regulations such as the minimum wage.

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