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+ - Do specs even matter anymore for the average smartphone user?->

Submitted by ourlovecanlastforeve
ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) writes "While reviewing a recent comparison of the Nexus 5 and the iPhone 6, OSNews staffer Thom Holwerda raises some relevant points regarding the importance of specs on newer smartphones. He observes that the iPhone 6, which is brand new, and the Nexus 5 launch apps at about the same speed. Yes, they're completely different platforms and yes, it's true it's probably not even a legitimate comparison, but it does raise a point: Most people who use smartphones on a daily basis use them for pretty basic things such as checking email, casual web browsing, navigation and reminders. Those who use their phones to their maximum capacity for things like gaming are a staunch minority. Do smarphone specs even matter for the average smartphone user anymore? After everyone releases the biggest phone people can reasonably hold in their hand with a processor and GPU that can move images on the display as optimally as possible, how many other moons are there to shoot for?"
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+ - Before using StingRays, police must sign NDA ... with FBI

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "Advanced cell phone tracking devices known as StingRays allow police nationwide to home in on suspects and to log individuals present at a given location. But before acquiring a StingRay, state and local police must sign a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI, documents released via a MuckRock FOIA request indicate. As Shawn Musgrave reports, it's an unusual setup arrangement for two public agencies to swear each other to secrecy, but such maneuvers are becoming more common."

+ - Astrophysicists Identify The "Habitable" Regions Of The Entire Universe

Submitted by KentuckyFC
KentuckyFC (1144503) writes "It's not just star systems and galaxies that have habitable zones--regions where conditions are suitable for life to evolve. Astrophysicists have now identified the entire universe's habitable zones. Their approach starts by considering the radiation produced by gamma ray bursts in events such as the death of stars and the collisions between black holes and so on. Astrobiologists have long known that these events are capable of causing mass extinctions by stripping a planet of its ozone layer and exposing the surface to lethal levels of radiation. The likelihood of being hit depends on the density of stars, which is why the centre of galaxies are thought to be inhospitable to life. The new work focuses on the threat galaxies pose to each other, which turns out to be considerable when they are densely packed together. Astronomers know that the distribution of galaxies is a kind of web-like structure with dense knots of them connected by filaments interspersed with voids where galaxies are rare. The team says that life-friendly galaxies are most likely to exist in the low density regions of the universe in the voids and filaments of the cosmic web. The Milky Way is in one of these low density regions with Andromeda too far away to pose any threat. But conditions might not be so life friendly in our nearest knot of galaxies called the Virgo supercluster."

+ - New revokable identity-based encryption scheme proposed->

Submitted by jd
jd (1658) writes "Identity-based public key encryption works on the idea of using something well-known (like an e-mail address) as the public key and having a private key generator do some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff to generate a secure private key out if it. A private key I can understand, secure is another matter.

In fact, the paper notes that security has been a big hastle in IBE-type encryption, as has revocation of keys. The authors claim, however, that they have accomplished both. Which implies the public key can't be an arbitrary string like an e-mail, since presumably you would still want messages going to said e-mail address, otherwise why bother revoking when you could just change address?

Anyways, this is not the only cool new crypto concept in town, but it is certainly one of the most intriguing as it would be a very simple platform for building mostly-transparent encryption into typical consumer apps. If it works as advertised.

I present it to Slashdot readers, to engender discussion on the method, RIBE in general and whether (in light of what's known) default strong encryption for everything is something users should just get whether they like it or not."

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+ - Breaking: 'Big Bang Signal' Could All Be Dust->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Now, scientists have shown that the swirl pattern touted as evidence of primordial gravitational waves — ripples in space and time dating to the universe’s explosive birth — could instead all come from magnetically aligned dust. A new analysis of data from the Planck space telescope has concluded that the tiny silicate and carbonate particles spewed into interstellar space by dying stars could account for as much as 100 percent of the signal detected by the BICEP2 telescope and announced to great fanfare this spring.

The Planck analysis is “relatively definitive in that we can’t exclude that the entirety of our signal is from dust,” said Brian Keating, an astrophysicist at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the BICEP2 collaboration."

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+ - Google and Apple Mobile Encryption: Good News and Bad News->

Submitted by Nicola Hahn
Nicola Hahn (1482985) writes "Both Google and Apple scored headlines at the Washington Post with articles that laud recent efforts to implement strong device-level encryption. The implication being that purchasing the latest mobile release will safeguard users from warrants issued by the U.S. Government as vendors would be unable to access encrypted data (never mind data stored in the Cloud). While device-level encryption can be interpreted as a positive step in the right direction there’s also the risk that it might provide users with a false sense of security. Contrary to popular belief there are a multitude of ways for vendors to quietly undermine device-level encryption and an equally long list of reasons why they might do so. Caveat emptor, assurances of high-security are sometimes just noise for rubes and a cover for highly leveraged spies."
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+ - Is iOS 8 a pig?->

Submitted by kyjellyfish
kyjellyfish (1703658) writes "This submission is more of an "Ask Slashdot" question than a scoop, and is not intended to denigrate pigs. I've been using iOS 8 for several days and aside from a few gimmicks and add-ons that attempt to achieve parity with Android, my experience has been overwhelmingly unsatisfactory. My chief complaint is that the vast majority of my apps are slow to boot and noticeably sluggish in operation. I want to point out that all of these apps have been "upgraded" specifically for iOS 8 compatibility. Previous operating system upgrades have been relatively seamless, so I'm asking whether other slashdotters have experienced this degraded performance."
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Comment: Keep your important data on current storage. (Score 4, Insightful) 113

by Z00L00K (#47952227) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

Keep your important data on current mainstream storage. This is the only way to preserve it - copy data from old disks to new disks whenever you upgrade.

Of course at each upgrade you can also discard a lot of data that isn't necessary, but pictures and similar stuff shall be preserved. Data formats for images have been stable for the last decades. Even though some improvements have occurred a 25 year old jpg is still viewable.

However some document formats have to be upgraded to latest version since especially Microsoft have a tendency to "forget" their old versions. You may still lose some formatting, but the content of the documents is the important.

+ - Ask Slashdot: What to do when your hotel WiFi is filtered

Submitted by Wolfling1
Wolfling1 (1808594) writes "So, I arrived at the hotel, connected their WiFi, and promptly discovered that my feed is filtered. Web pages appear different. My immediate action was to connect the VPN back to the office, and run all my data through a (relatively) safer feed. Things return to normal.

But the question is : What to do now? Should I tell the hotel? Should I just do nothing? Should I book in for treatment because I'm being paranoid?"

+ - Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group is headed for the axe, and its responsibilities will be taken over either by the company's Cloud & Enterprise Division or its Legal & Corporate Affairs group. Microsoft’s disbanding of the group represents a punctuation mark in the industry’s decades-long conversation around trusted computing as a concept. The security center of gravity is moving away from enterprise desktops to cloud and mobile and 'things', so it makes sense for this security leadership role to shift as well. According to a company spokesman, an unspecified number of jobs from the group will be cut. Also today, Microsoft has announced the closure of its Silicon Valley lab. Its research labs in Redmond, New York, and Cambridge (in Massachusetts) will pick up some of the closed lab's operations."

+ - Supermassive Black Hole Discovered Inside Tiny Dwarf Galaxy->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Astronomers using data from the Hubble Space Telescope say they've discovered a ginormous black hole within one of the tiniest galaxies known to exist.

The supermassive black hole is about five times more massive than the one at the center of the Milky Way, but the dwarf galaxy in which it was found--known to astronomers as M60-UCD1--is about 500 times smaller than our own galaxy, according to NASA.

"It is the smallest and lightest object that we know of that has a supermassive black hole," Dr. Anil C. Seth, a University of Utah astronomer and the lead author of a new paper about the discovery, said in a written statement. "It's also one of the most black hole-dominated galaxies known."

The discovery suggests that supermassive black holes may be twice as numerous in the nearby universe as previously thought, Nature reported."

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+ - Russia to be disconnected from the Internet?-> 2

Submitted by GlowingCat
GlowingCat (2459788) writes "The issue of security of the Russian segment of the Internet will be a topic for discussion at the meeting of the Russian Security Council, with the participation of President Vladimir Putin and several high-ranking officials. The meeting will take place next week. According to various reports, the officials will make a number of decisions regulating the use of the Internet in Russia, providing for the ability to cut the Russian Internet, known as Runet, from the outside world, in case of emergency."
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